Title: Vendetta

Author: innocent choir girl (ff-dot-net), shannyfish (From Out of the Lab/Miami Heat/LJ)

Summary: Clavo Cruz escapes from prison and goes after those Horatio holds dear in order to really get back at him. Clavo sees that there's more between Horatio and one of his co-workers, and takes Calleigh... (takes place before current season - I swear this was thought up before "Man Down")

Category: Ship Ahoy! Calleigh/Horatio

Genres: Angst, Drama, Episode Related, Established Relationship, Friendship, Hurt Comfort, Suspense

Characters: Horatio Caine, Frank Tripp (Other), Alexx Woods (Other)

Warnings: none

Rating: PG-13

Chapter: 1 "Serious Matters"

Author's Notes: What? People think I'm supposed to be working on SDRR? Oops? puts on halo hehehehehehe

…………………………

Horatio's team had been spread thinly that day, as Horatio stood under Miami's hot sun. His sunglasses protected his eyes as he watched as Alexx made her way through the crowd on Miami Beach to read their DB. Their DB was a young woman who they figured was down in Miami on Spring Break, and had ended up losing her life to too much drinking and he was sure from a sexual assault gone wrong. Frank was already going around trying to make sure his officers kept the curious bystanders out of the way and to question anyone who might have seen anything. "Hello Alexx," he greeted when she finally managed to make her way to him.

"Hey there," Alexx responded sweetly. She looked down at the DB and sighed, "They're getting younger and younger each year, aren't they?" Kneeling down, Alexx started to look over the young woman on the hot beach sand. "Poor Baby, it wasn't your time to go, was it?"

Watching as Alexx checked over the body, Horatio hovered and set his hands upon his dark clad hips. "Looks like asphyxiation, Alexx?" Horatio asked wondering if she'd gotten a preliminary explanation for him yet.

"I would say so from what looks like is going to be some pretty nasty bruising on her neck," Alexx said. "From her liver temp, I'd say she's been dead for no more than three hours…" She looked around, "But I assume no one saw anything…"

"That's what it's looking like," Horatio said disgusted as he looked around at the crowd that the officers were attempting to keep back. "Sexual assault?"

"From the disarray of her bottoms, I'd say so… I'll be more certain when I do the post."

"Alright, Alexx, I'll see you there," Horatio said and looked turned his attention to Frank, who was walking towards them at a rather hurried pace. He could tell by the look on Frank's face that there was a reason for it that would involve him, "What's up, Frank?"

"I just got off the phone with the Warden at Miami West just called me. We've got a couple escapees. They wanted to warn us since we have history with both convicts," Frank quickly informed. He didn't see any point in beating around the bush, but he also didn't want to lay it all out right away. He knew that Horatio would need a minute before he told him exactly who was out there.

Horatio tilted his head downward, "Are they in pursuit?"

"They're not sure when they got out exactly…"

"Who exactly are 'they', Frank?" Horatio finally asked as he shifted his stance to turn at a slightly different angle, but kept his gaze to the sand.

"Clavo Cruz and Hank Kerner," Frank informed his friend. "A couple others…but—"

"None of our CSIs were involved in those cases, were they?" Horatio finished and looked back at Alexx. "I'm going to be late to post, Alexx." He saw that Alexx was already on her feet and beside him. He could see the worry grow on her face, and tried to press a smile forward. "What's wrong?"

"Hank Kerner…he's the one who tried to get to Calleigh a few years ago, isn't he? He killed the prosecutor…" Alexx asked worried about Calleigh, and afraid that this time Kerner would make good on his promise.

"We're not going to let that happen, Alexx."

…………………………….

Horatio stared at the radio in his Hummer. He'd called dispatch…there was no word from any of his CSIs in the field…and it was all of them. Calleigh, Eric, Natalia, and Ryan were all out on assignments. He had even sent Calleigh and Eric alone… Normally he made sure that there were two CSIs to each case, but today…today that was not happening. Picking up his cell phone, he called the lab and asked them to have the GPS in the Hummers activated, and to relay the information ASAP.

Frank tapped on the window, and stood there unhappily as Horatio rolled down his window. He knew no one was happy about the situation, but he figured he could use an update. He just hoped the update was a good one. "Hear back from Calleigh and Eric and the others?" he asked curiously.

"Dispatch can't reach them… I tried all of their cells… They're not in the lab. At the moment they're missing…" Horatio sighed, "I just hope that they find Kerner soon… Clavo I think I can deal with, I don't think he'll go after my CSIs."

"Want me to call the Warden?" Frank asked.

"That would be appreciated," Horatio responded as his phone rang. "One minute, Frank." He held the phone to his ear, "Horatio." He listened for a minute before opening his mouth, "Uh huh… Miami Beach West, Miami, Everglades…" he listed off writing down exact locations on a slip of paper. "Thanks Cooper." He closed his phone to see that Frank was now on his own, but Horatio just motioned to Frank and told him quietly, "Call me, Frank." Horatio pulled out of his spot and headed out. One of the Hummers was located on the other side of Miami Beach, and since that was the closest location to him…he decided to start there.

…………………………..

Miami Beach held little help for Horatio. One of the Miami-Dade County Crime Scene Hummers was half submerged in the Atlantic Ocean; the back end of the Hummer was sunken into the wet sand. He'd been able to get inside the Hummer, although that meant getting his shoes wet along with his pants up to his knees. But he was able to get into the Hummer's cab and find out who had been in that vehicle. Natalia and Ryan had, Horatio was sure by the hand writing on the notes in the passenger side seat. There was a coffee cup in the cup holder closest to the driver with coffee that Horatio had seen Ryan drinking earlier that morning. Any evidence that could have been on the outside of the Hummer seemed to have been contaminated by the salt water of the Atlantic, which offered him no information on who could have nabbed his CSIs. The inside of the Hummer showed no disturbance, which made Horatio wonder exactly how his CSIs had been taken…and if it had been by either Clavo Cruz or Hank Kerner. Neither, Horatio thought, would have anything against his two newest to the lab.

The ring of his phone broke him from his thoughts and his gaze out at the ocean. He held it to his ear, not bothering to check the caller ID. "Horatio." What he heard was not helping him. Frank had talked to the Warden at Miami West, and apparently Cruz and Kerner had gotten along very well and shared a hatred of him and his CSIs. Horatio didn't like the thought of either of them hurting his CSIs. He knew Kerner was especially dangerous given his history, but Clavo…Clavo Cruz just wanted to hurt him…like he'd hurt Clavo.

There was nothing else he could do there, but make sure that the Hummer was towed back to the lab for analysis there. He'd call in for a couple people from the swing shift and nightshift to help out until he found his CSIs.

………………………………

The second Hummer he'd found in the middle of Palmetto Bay, down an alley. It had been Calleigh's…and he had been surprised that it hadn't been stolen or some of the things stripped. He assumed that that meant that it just hadn't been left there for long. The driver's door he found open with the keys left in the ignition. The back hatch of the Hummer was open; her kit was open in the back. Horatio had only found a pair of latex gloves missing.

It worried him that it didn't look like there was any fight put up, and that there didn't seem like a reason for Calleigh to be there. He had talked to dispatch, and Calleigh was supposed to be in Coral Gables. No one seemed to be where they were supposed to be.

The only thing that had kept him from worrying too much to the point of panic was the fact that he hadn't found any blood or signs of injuries at any of the places so far. It gave Horatio hope that his team would be found safe and sound.

…………………………….

The Everglades was Horatio's last stop. Frank and two CSIs borrowed from the swing shift met him out there. He nodded to the two CSIs, but stepped in front of them to investigate the Hummer. It looked unharmed. Eric Delko, though, was no where in sight. He knew that Eric knew how to take care of himself out there in the 'Glades, but he knew that that didn't mean that he was impenetrable. "Let's get this back to the lab…I want to know exactly who's been near and in this Hummer."

"There looks like there's some shoe treads, too."

Horatio turned to one of the swing shift CSIs and nodded to them. "Collect everything like you would for any other case. I'm going to try and get a lead on Kerner and Cruz. I think that I can get Clavo Cruz out in the open…"

"Horatio, do you really think that's the best idea?" Frank asked following Horatio to his vehicle.

"He'll show himself, if only to taunt me," Horatio assured as he got up into his Hummer. He knew Frank's concerns, but his concern was on his team. He was going to find a lead on finding his team, even if he'd have to come face to face with Clavo Cruz and play his game.

………………………….

TBC…