Author: innocent choir girl (ff-dot-net), shannyfish (From Out of the Lab/Miami Heat/LJ)
Summary: Taken from the previews for "Born to Kill". Since the episode was so disappointing given the misleading promo. Calleigh is targeted by a killer and Horatio and the others must race to save her.
Category: Ship Ahoy! Calleigh/Horatio
Genres: Angst, Drama, Episode Related, Established Relationship, Friendship, Hurt Comfort, Suspense
Characters: Horatio Caine, Calleigh Duquesne
Chapter: 10 "Lifeline"
Author's Notes: this is the final chapter of "Stalked", and as some may have seen the next set of stories will be started. Keep an eye on my CBS CSI: Miami wiki profile (shannyfish) for updates on story status along with new trailers. Currently four of the five upcoming stories have fanfiction trailers on youtube under my profile (shannyfish).
Calleigh had kept her distance from the door, hoping that knowing who she was dealing with would help her in escaping. She wasn't exactly at her top game, but she had to try something. The minute the door opened, Calleigh knew that she had been right. The man who had her was the one she'd picked out in the crowd. He'd been stalking crime scenes…and it appeared that he'd been stalking her as well. "What do you want?" Calleigh asked, trying to keep her voice even and calm. She kept her back against the wall with the collage, trying to keep her weight on her good foot.
"No talking," Norman said.
She noticed his voice wasn't sharp or violent. It was soft and patient. Calleigh felt her heart beating faster as he closed in on her. "Why are you doin' this?" she asked. She wanted to say that there was something wrong with him, that he could get help, but Calleigh was sure that he'd just get pissed off by that line of reasoning.
"I said NO TALKING."
Calleigh winced at the loudness of his voice, but prepared herself. As soon as he got close enough she grabbed his arms and quickly thrust her knee into his groin before pushing him against the wall and hobbling towards the door. She heard him, but didn't turn to look. She couldn't. She needed to stay focused. She reached out for the door, but found herself being thrown across the room. She hit the wall first and then the floor. She let out a groan and forced her eyes open. She stared across the room at him. He was just standing there. Her head was spinning, and Calleigh wondered if he knew that.
"I wanted to do this nicely…" Norman told her. "But if you're going to be bad…then I'll toss you just like I did the others…" He turned and opened the door, but before exiting he looked over his shoulder briefly, "I thought you were different."
When the door shut and she heard the lock slide into place, Calleigh wasn't sure whether to be relieved or freaked out. She could feel tears sliding down her cheeks, but didn't want them there. She closed her eyes tightly trying to cut them off. When she opened her eyes again, she cursed the red light. It wasn't the light itself, but the color… Red had many different meanings, but the one that Calleigh was most familiar with was blood…and murder. She didn't want to be linked in that way.
"Mrs. Willers, I suggest you stop right there," Horatio informed her. His gun was drawn along with Frank, Jake, and small group of officers. Once she froze, Horatio approached her and saw the small child in the back seat along with the bags packed. "Where were you going?"
Alyssa's face flooded with tears, "Please…my daughter…"
"CPS will see to her," Frank informed her.
"Right now, I need to know where Norman is. I know you helped him, Mrs. Willers. Norman and you are not both right handed… You did the last murder for him…so that we'd release him…"
"Please, I was just trying to protect him. It's not his fault. The studies they did when we were kids messed him up! It's not his fault!" Alyssa tried to convince them. She watched as her daughter was being removed from the car by a police officer, it all seemed too surreal to her. Nothing seemed real.
"Where is he?" Horatio asked again.
Alyssa shook her head, "I don't know… He works for a one hour photo… It's on Meridian near that hospital in Miami Beach. That's all I know…I don't know if they know where he lives…"
Horatio believed her, but he wished she'd more to give. "Let's get a list of one hour photos in that area," Horatio called out. "They may have information on Jostice."
Calleigh hadn't moved from her position on the floor when the door opened once again. Her head was killing her once again. It wasn't just the spinning or pain; it was fatigue pulling her towards the darkness she was so desperately avoiding. She had a feeling that it was all due to her head injury and that was nothing she could do about it. Being thrown across the room and hitting a wall and floor hadn't done anything for her condition. She just watched him through half closed eyes as he wandered towards her.
"I told you to be good," Norman told her. "Now you're being good," he said gently as he reached down to stroke her hair. He took in how soft it was to the touch and how nice it felt through his fingers. He smiled down at her, "We're going to go somewhere special…"
"Please…" Calleigh whispered as she continued to fight to stay awake.
Norman just smiled and put a finger to her lips. "Shhh…" He reached under her and carefully lifted her up. "I never take anyone to this place. You've probably been too busy to enjoy it." He watched as her eyelids slid shut as he carried her through his small apartment and he headed for his van.
The building was quiet, children weren't home from school yet, and almost everyone worked…which only made his transportation of Calleigh easier. He moved her in his arms, so that he could open his van. He got in through the back with her, keeping his head down as he turned and closed it. The back of the van had been stripped of everything. It was all metal, even the floor of it. He'd drilled holes in it making it easier to clean up messes. He laid her gently in the middle of the back before walking to the front and pulled the curtain, so that it covered the back of his van.
"Norman Jostice work here?" Frank quickly demanded.
"Uh, yeah…" the teen responded. "He's sort of a creep."
"No kiddin'," Frank said irritated. "Do you have his address? Or a phone number?"
"Yeah, his number, but he'll never come down here this late… If something breaks, I just get to close up and go home early…"
Horatio took in the poster size pictures on the wall. They looked familiar, but Horatio couldn't place them. "Where is this?" Horatio finally spoke up, not taking his eyes from the pictures of the treed areas.
"Norman took those. He's like obsessed with that place."
"Where is it?" Frank demanded.
"That's Pine Tree Park," he answered. "He likes the spots with all the trees."
"Let's go," Horatio said sliding his sunglasses in place as they headed out of the one hour photo. He didn't have a good feeling.
He parked in a far parking spot; he didn't like to be boxed into spaces. He looked over the area first, going into the park and taking in how many people were there. It was vacant. Perfect. He noticed that there were boats in the water, but not many. He returned to his van and pulled out his toy. He knew the area. It was secluded and hidden behind the sports field's treed area near it and butted up against the neighbor's home down near the water. They wouldn't be seen.
Norman carried Calleigh into the covered park. He loved those trees. He smiled to himself as he neared the perfect spot.
Horatio picked up his radio in the Hummer, "Let's go in quietly," he broadcasted to the other vehicles. "We don't want to spook him." He was starting to worry that Jostice would kill Calleigh if he sensed he was in danger. He wasn't going to let that happen.
The cars pulled quietly into Pine Tree Park, fanning out at the entrance, so there was no way Jostice could escape with his vehicle. The police vehicles would also keep innocent residents out of the park for the time being. Horatio could see that the front of the van wasn't occupied and had a firm feeling that Jostice had already taken Calleigh into the park. He motioned for the van to be opened and when it was, Horatio finally saw why there wasn't much blood at some of the scenes.
"What are the holes for?" one of the officers asked.
"For quick clean-up," Frank responded.
"Calleigh's in the park," Jake said heading towards the grassy entrance.
Horatio kept up with the young detective, both of them with their weapons raised. "We need to take this quietly and swiftly."
"No, you LOOK, Mr. Berkeley," Horatio snapped keeping his voice low. "I won't have you go running in there and getting Calleigh killed.
Jake stared at Horatio for a moment before finally nodding. He'd do whatever it took to get Calleigh out of that park safely. "Alright, I'm with you," Jake said quietly. He still wasn't sure about Caine, but knew that he currently liked where the lieutenant's priorities were. That was all that really mattered at the moment.
Horatio and Jake went in one direction while Frank took the officers in another. The park wasn't gigantic, but it was a good sized one. Horatio stopped and set his hand on Jake when he heard a soft whimpering sound. He knew who it was and as sick as it made him, he knew that he had to take the situation in rationally and even-headedly. He couldn't let his emotions take reign over the situation.
He motioned for Jake to take the other side. He couldn't quite see what was going on, but he wanted to be prepared. He waited until he was sure Jake was on the other side before stepping towards where the whimpering was coming from. The scene scared him. Norman Jostice was hovering over with Calleigh, a knife in his hand. Horatio noticed the red.
The whimpering was coming from Calleigh, there was no doubt. She was still alive. It looked like Norman had only stabbed her once; they could still stop him and save her. He saw Jake behind Jostice.
Horatio wasn't sure where the sound came from, but he noticed that Jostice's eyes snapped up and locked with his. It was then that Horatio knew that Norman Jostice wasn't going to let them take Calleigh away…not alive at least.
"NO!" Norman yelled as he raised the knife up as he readied to bring it down on his toy. It was time to throw the toy away. It was time to be finished and done. Time to move on.
Jake grabbed Jostice, holding onto his raised arm, and pulled him away from Calleigh. The man could jerk around all he wanted for all Jake cared, just as long as he didn't hurt Calleigh any further. Jake dragged Jostice about a yard away from Calleigh's still body. He'd seen the blood as soon as he'd grabbed Jostice. She was still breathing, he knew that much because he'd heard her whimpering, she was in pain, but she was alive. That was what counted. He watched as Horatio dropped down and checked Calleigh.
Horatio covered her wound, putting pressure onto it, he knew it would hurt more, but he also needed the blood to clot. He knew she was already injured and he wasn't sure how much blood had already been lost. Jake looked like he had Jostice handled for the moment, so he pulled out his radio and pressed the button, "Frank! We've got Jostice! Calleigh's going to need immediate medical attention!"
((We're on our way.))
Horatio was about to pull out his cell phone to call for Rescue when he heard Jake grunt, he looked up to see Jostice thrust the bloodied knife into Jake's chest just as a gunshot rang out. Bodies falling, hurried pushing through bushes, and footfalls echoing off leaves on the ground surrounded Horatio as he remained there with his hand firmly placed on Calleigh's abdomen. His eyes looked from the two fallen men to Calleigh, whose eyes had opened, "Sweetheart," he spoke softly, "Hold your hand here," he instructed as he placed her hand where his had been. "Lay still." He moved over to Jake and Jostice, he separated them just as he heard Frank and his officers appearing behind him without even looking. The knife was still stuck in Jake's chest; the man's eyes were wide open as he gasped for air. He put his hand on Jake's chest, "We've got to leave it there," he instructed. "You'll bleed out otherwise." He heard Frank call out Jostice as dead and heard one of the officers calling into dispatch that they had officers down and to send Rescue. "Hold on, brother," Horatio told Jake.
"Shhh," Horatio hushed, "Calleigh's going to be just fine. He only stabbed her once. She's not losing too much blood," Horatio told Jake. "Hold on, Rescue's on it's way."
Jake's head rolled to the side as he stared at Calleigh, he could see her chest rising and falling. She was breathing. She was alive. Jake's lungs forced out a painful cough. He could barely breathe and the cough had made it feel like his lungs were closing on him.
"Stay with me," Horatio told Jake when he saw the blood. He stared at Jake, watching him watch Calleigh. He knew that it didn't look good. He could already hear the sirens, though. When there was an officer involved incident, Rescue always responded quickly. It was like there were no other vehicles in the city. "Frank! Make sure they know where we are!" Horatio called out turning his head and saw that Frank was already instructing his officers to show the Rescue team where they were in the park. When Horatio turned back to Jake, he noticed that there was lifelessness in his eyes. He focused on where his hand was on his chest, it wasn't moving. It was too late. He waited though, until he heard it from the EMT. He needed to. But when he heard the words, it didn't make it any easier.
Horatio moved his attention to Calleigh. The EMTs had already put her onto a gurney and were securing her and getting her ready to transport. He wasn't sure how hard it was going to be on her, or how he was going to tell her. She wasn't lucid and even if she was, he doubted he'd tell her in her condition. He walked alongside the gurney as it was moved through the park.
"H! H! How's Calleigh?!" Eric called from the front of the scene. He stopped when he saw Calleigh on the gurney.
"She's going to be fine, Eric," Horatio explained stopping there with Eric.
"They're saying there was an officer killed," Eric explained, he'd thought it was Calleigh and hadn't been able to get an ID of the deceased person over the phone or radio.
"There was," Horatio said sadly. "Jake Berkeley."
"Berkeley?" Eric repeated in disbelief, he wanted to know how, but stayed quiet. He'd never thought highly of the man, but it was wrong to speak ill of the dead.
"He kept Jostice from further injuring Calleigh…possibly killing her," Horatio explained.
Eric nodded, "He's a hero."
She'd been released from the hospital and been informed of Jake's death. Calleigh had visited his body in the morgue with Alexx; she just needed to see him. At least with Alexx she felt like she could break down and cry. And she did. Jake's parents had asked her to collect his personal effects from the police department. They'd told her that they could go through things together and she could keep some of his things if she wanted.
As she finished cleaning out his locker, she stopped and stared at a box. It felt odd. The weight wasn't distributed correctly for such a small box. She started to lift the lid when she heard the door open. Her eyes flew up and she relaxed a bit when she saw Horatio.
"How are you doing?" Horatio asked gently.
"I'm startin' to think I'm goin' have to stop datin'," she whispered trying to keep the air light. "All the men I date seem to end up dead because of me."
"I told Jake's parents I'd get his things…" she said as she lifted the lid on the box and just stared at the contents. "Oh my God…"
"His parents don't need to know, Calleigh."
Calleigh looked up at Horatio, "Please…Horatio. I don't want him to be remembered as a dirty cop," Calleigh pleaded. "I'd hate to have him die a hero, but be remembered as something entirely different."
Horatio lifted the baggies from the box, "I'll take care of these."
"What are you goin' do?" Calleigh asked concerned.
She gave him a relieved smile, "Thank you."
Calleigh stood silently, feeling like she was holding everything inside, between Horatio and Eric. They both had been there for her since she'd awoken in the hospital and had explained things. She and Jake had been dating, but the loss of him was much more than she'd expected. It felt like déjà vu. It felt like it was too soon that they'd lost another officer. Sure, it'd been three years, but it seemed like it really hadn't been that long. She felt like she'd been to far too many funerals. Tim Speedle, John Hagen, and now Jake Berkeley. She finally let out a breath she'd been holding and tried to hold back the tears, but found that they had their own ideas. They flooded her face and she let her face fall to her chest.
She'd already talked to Jake's parents before the funeral and wasn't sure she could make it through the rest. Calleigh could feel Horatio's hand in hers squeezing hers and when she looked over she could see concern all over his face. He wanted to know if she'd be okay…but she even didn't know. She heard the priest call an end to the prayer and announced that people could start saying their goodbyes. Calleigh looked over at Horatio again, "I can't," she whispered.
"You've already said goodbye?" Horatio asked quietly not wanting her to regret her last chance to do so. But when she nodded, he looked over at Eric, who was already paying attention to the conversation. He put an arm around her and led her in the opposite direction of the coffin.
"He's with God now, Calleigh," Eric reminded.
"I know," she whispered.
"He was a hero," Horatio told her.
Calleigh nodded and wrapped her arm around Horatio before laying her head on his shoulder. "He really was."