Here you go, guy! Third installment. This really wasn't intended to be a series, but the world is crazy, unpredictable place.
Can I also take the opportunity to thank anyone and everyone who nominated and voted for me in the CSIFanFicAwards. I actually won! I really REALLY appreciate it, you have no idea.
Challange fic #15. Prompt #19 - Home xx
Her bag dropped to the floor and her keys into the dish with a resounding thud and crash. A frustrated and increasingly angry sigh followed. "John? Are you home?" Calleigh called in to the quiet house.
John Hagen sauntered in from the bedroom, passing her on his way to the kitchen. The open beer in his hand explained the less-than-straight walking and the slurred "Welcome back."
She watched with her mouth agape. A shudder passed through her in unspoken angered disbelief. "Welcome back?" she asked, following him. "Where were you? You said you'd pick me up from the airport nearly an hour ago! I had to call a cab after you didn't answer
your cell phone. Now I see why…"
"Oh, don't come off all high and mighty, Calleigh. I'm not in the mood." John finished the remainder of his beer, throwing the bottle into the trash and grabbing a fresh one from the fridge.
"High and mighty? Are you serious? You're drunk!"
"How else do you expect me to be? You go off for the weekend, back to Miami and back to him. That was the whole reason we moved out here in the first place!"
She didn't want a fight. Well, no, that was a lie - she wanted a big stinking fight and to be given the excuse to walk out that door and never come back. She just didn't have the energy for one, after the flight back to Chicago and everything the weekend had thrown at her. "I'm not going to talk to you when you're like this, John. I'm going to bed."
"Oh, really? I thought you'd had enough 'bed' this weekend, already!" Came a loud, slurred reply.
She stalked back to the kitchen, her blood beginning to boil even more so. Were they really going to get into this again? "What is that supposed to mean, John?"
"I called your hotel, Calleigh. The number you gave me on that little post-it note? They said you hadn't checked in! You stayed with him didn't you! You slept with him, you little whore!" He threw his still full bottle into the sink, glass and liquid flying.
Calleigh really had to fight with herself to not shout back. Lord, she fought so hard. She spun on her heel and marched to the bedroom. Her fists tightly balled, a million insults running through her head.
"Where are you going?" John shouted, following her.
"I'm not having this fight with you again, John! When will you ever grow up? I've fought with too many drunks in my life, had too many pissed insults thrown at me to just stand here and take it." She pulled a suitcase down from the closet and threw it on the bed. "Call me when you're sober and want to apologise."
He stumbled into the room, catching himself on the dresser. "You're not going anywhere!"
"You can't even stand up! You're sorely mistaken if you think I'm going stay and listen to the jealous ramblings of a drunken man!" She threw clothes from the drawers into the case.
She went to pass him for the en-suite bathroom, but he grabbed onto her wrists. "I said you're not leaving this house."
Anger bubbled so intensely beneath her skin, blood loudly rushing to her ears. "Let go of me, John."
"No!" He tightened his grip.
She pulled at her wrists, but he was holding on tight. She kept twisting and pulling and eventually managed to free herself, but not without injury. The force of John's grip, and the sudden release of what he was holding, had catapulted his hand up and across Calleigh's face.
A resounding slap sounded and she fell onto the bed. She instinctively brought her hand up to her cheek, though the adrenaline coursing through her veins disguised the pain she'd feel later.
It was as if everything had gone into slow motion, as she watched John struggle between reactions, not knowing what to do. She lifted herself up from the bed, almost Terminator like, and threw a punch so hard John fell to the ground with a bloodied nose.
"No-one ever has the permission touch me like that!" she spat, leaning over a thoroughly shocked John Hagen.
She zipped up the case and stepped over him. "Goodbye, John."
"Calleigh, wait!" he called, scrambling to his feet in sudden soberness. "I didn't mean to hit you, I'm sorry!"
She knew what had had happened was probably just down to physics and wasn't intentional, but it was certainly the push she needed. She had vowed long, long ago that no man would ever touch her in such a manner, and she was by no means going to let John's touch slide. "Goodbye, John."
She picked up her car keys and the weekend bag and was gone.
Her mind was reeling. A million speeches ran through her head that she coulda-woulda-shoulda shouted back to him, the whole sequence of events plaguing her every blink.
She was just driving. She didn't know where too and didn't much care. She just needed to think.
What the hell was she going to do now?
She found herself pulling to a stop and looking out the window. Michigan River. Water was like a beacon to Calleigh. Ever since she was a child she would sit and stare at an ocean or a lake and be able to right any wrongs in her head. She often told herself that that was why Miami appealed so much to her.
She grabbed her now ever-present duffel coat and gloves and made for the waterside.
God, that had actually just happened. John had actually just hit her and she had actually just stormed out. Where was she going to sleep? Did she really want to stay in Chicago now that the one main pull - her fiancé - was never to return to the picture?
She struggled over the rocks and took a seat on a cold and dewy boulder, her eyes quickly casting over the shimmering horizon. So many questions ran through her head. So many questions with so few answers.
Calleigh brought a hand back up to her cheek, the tingling beginning to fight through the adrenaline. She took off a glove and ambled over the rocks to the water, dunking the glove in the ice cold mass. She wrung it out slightly before bringing it to her cheek to act as a cold compress on her way back to the seat.
Suddenly her footing slipped, sending her crashing down to the hard, bumpy surface.
"Goddamnit," she uttered under her breath. Her eyes slowly fluttered open, a hand heavily making its way to her head.
"Good to see you, Miss Duquesne."
Her eyes shot to the voice.
"I'm Doctor Covarrubias. You're in Chicago Memorial Hospital, how do you feel?" The doctor pushed a lock of fallen blonde hair behind her ear and smiled warmly down to her new patient.
Calleigh cleared her throat. "Sore."
"I can help you with that," Covarrubias clicked a button on the monitor, increasing the pain killers.
"Have you been here? About two hours. Can you remember what happened?" The doctor watched as Calleigh's eyes screwed up in contemplation. "You were on the side of Michigan River. Looks like you slipped and hit your head on a rock. Luckily a campus patrolman from the university keeps a lookout there for drunken kids and raised the alarm."
Calleigh shut her eyes again and dragged a hand over her face with a sigh. She edged herself up the bed, the doctor helping position the pillows behind her.
"We're going to keep you over night, just to be on the safe side, but I don't think we'll be having any problems." A trill sounded from her beneath her coat. She pulled the beeper out and looked at the screen. "Okay, I'm going to have to go. You have a number of people waiting to see you," she smiled, " I'll send your fiancé in, first."
Covarrubias stopped in her tracks, slowing turning back to Calleigh. "You-you don't remember him?"
"Oh, I remember him, but he is not my fiancé." She corrected, putting a cup of ice water back on the counter.
"Ah. I'm not sure if he knows that. Or believes it. Anyway, I'll send someone else in."
"Thank you, doctor."
Calleigh's gaze drifted to the window as she waited for a visitor, her mind going over the events of the last few hours. Memories began to come back; her flight home, the impatient looks to her watch in the parking lot, her fight with John… but nothing came about how she ended up in the hospital with a bump to her head.
"G'morning, sleepy head," a voice announced.
She turned to the voice, "Can I help you?"
The visitor sat down with a thud, shock etched across her features. "You don't - Cal, it's me. Krista, your boss?"
"Lord, I forget how gullible you are…" Calleigh grinned, dodging a playful punch.
"I'm so glad that part of your humour didn't fall out when you cracked your head open," Krista Montayne pouted, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
"Me too," she smirked. "So how's John looking?"
"He was worried about you, in his own little way," Krista relaxed back in her chair, twisting her back into a semi-comfortable position. She flicked a strand of her auburn bangs from her face and gestured to the waiting room behind her. "He practically arrested every doctor who passed for an update on you. He, er, he wasn't too pleased when you let me in here instead of him. So you really over?"
She took a breath. "It was over when I got to Chicago. I just…"
Krista nodded, knowing the state of their relationship. It wasn't hard to realise that what Calleigh and John had wasn't as fruitful as she tried to make out. "What are you going to do?"
"Your guess is as good as mine."
Doctor Covarrubias returned to the room, letting Krista know that visiting times were nearly over.
"I'll let you sleep. Come back tomorrow." Krista said, standing up and smoothing her clothes out. She leant over and embraced Calleigh. "Don't be doing this again, okay?"
"I'll certainly try. Only 'cos you asked so nicely."
Calleigh watched her leave and settled into the pillows, her gaze travelling to the window again. It was beginning to rain, steady rivulets running down the glass. She watched them as her eyes grew heavy, letting herself have one good nights sleep before the worry of her future kept her up at night.
It was still dark out when Calleigh woke. She hadn't heard the nurse turns her lights off or the sleeping figure in the chair arrive. "Horatio?" she whispered.
He didn't flinch from his slumber. Who had called him? Had he really flown out just because she hit her head?
She decided that he still needed to catch up on his sleep, so the questions could be asked in the morning. She let her lids drift together again.
When she awoke again, this time with the sun greeting her a good morning, she could feel two eyes boring into her. A small smile grew on her lips as she turned her head, her fingers rubbing at the corners of her eyes.
She didn't see quite what, or who, she expected too. "John?"
"How do you feel?" He asked, sitting forward in the chair. His shirt was crumpled as if he'd slept on the unforgiving hospital chairs.
She blinked. Had she dreamt Horatio? "Better. Nothing an aspirin won't cure."
"Good. That's good."
"What about you?"
"Cal, I'm fine. I'm more worried about you."
She felt awful. It was easy to forget how caring John Hagan could be at times. If you wanted someone to take care of you and fetch to your every whim, he was the go-to guy. It was just that Calleigh was brought up to reject the damsel image of southern women, she felt smothered around John at times, claustrophobic at times. His jealousy didn't make matters any easier either.
John was just worried about her, and she banished him from the room the night before. "Listen, John, we need to talk. No shouting, so storming out, just talk. Okay?"
John's eyes closed, his face contorting as if shot in the stomach.
"I'm sorry, John, but what happened yesterday still stands. I can't remember my accident much, but I can still remember that we… that we broke up. I know that what happened in the bedroom was an accident, but it gave me the push that I had been searching for. You really are one of the sweetest guys I know, and I thank you for everything you've done for me, but it's time we went our separate ways."
John's head drooped. "Man, I wish I knew that last night." He sat straight up, stretching his back in different angles, supporting her theory about his night outside. "I understand though. Since coming here, we just seemed to have fought. I put it down to you missing - "
"Don't say Horatio, John. Don't make this out into a fight." She warned.
"- Miami. I thought you were missing Miami, worrying about your Dad…"
Calleigh nodded, "That didn't really help matters, no."
He nodded, and waited a beat to take one last look at Calleigh. Capturing her face for the last time, he stood up and kissed her forehead. "I'll miss you, Cal."
"Goodbye, John." She smiled sadly, keeping a lingering hold on his hand as he walked out.
It was always sad to see someone walk out of your life, no matter the level or kind of relationship you may have held. John had been a part of her life for such a long time, a time when she had lost people close to her. Not forgetting the people she had left for him.
She allowed herself a wistful recount of their time together, her eyes again cast to the world beyond window. She would soon be rejoining it, but stationed where, she did not know. She had to find somewhere to live, move her belongings from John's, and all within the few spare hours she had from work.
A knock at the door broke her once again from her reverie. "Are you taking visitors?" A familiar voice asked, the door slowly being pushed open.
"Of course," Calleigh smiled, recognising the whiskey tones instantly.
Horatio shut the door behind him with a smile. "Well, it's nice to see you awake."
"So you were here yesterday!" She smirked, thankful that her mind hadn't played tricks on her.
"Yeah, I went before you woke so I could," he checked over his shoulders, "bring you contraband." He produced a tall take-out coffee cup from his jacket. Chicago's most famous.
"You. Star." She smiled, taking the cup. Perfect to her tastes as usual, she poked the hole in the lid and took a sip. "So, how come you're here?"
"Got tickets to the Dolphins-Bears game." He said, his face as straight as an arrow. "I got a call from Miss Montayne, asking me to tell your father about your accident."
Her eyes must have registered her worry.
"I didn't tell him. I thought I should check the facts before I go worrying him like that."
She breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you. He worries, and when he worries, he…" her hands gestured that he knew the end of the sentence.
He nodded. "So, how do you feel??"
"Slight throbbing, but the percussion band has gone which I'm thankful for," She smirked, copying verbatim Horatio's words from the weekend.
"Hmm," he smirked. "I hear you're getting discharged today?"
"I am. Lord, this has been like a spa break," she smiled.
"I can believe," he smiled back. "I, er, also hear that you may not have a home to go to when you leave?"
"Yeah," she said, the familiar bout of discomfort forming when talking about her love life. "It was a while coming, but bound to happen."
"Well, you know you're more than welcome to come back to Miami if you wished. We never could quite find someone matching your ballistics' expertise…"
Why hadn't returning to Miami crossed her mind? Other than her job - of less than four months - she had no real ties to the Chicago yet. She had made friends with her colleagues, but how lasting was a relationship of just a few months? There was still lab techs whom she just referred to by their department expertise…
Miami, though? It was still her home. Where her heart wanted to be.
"Listen, with what you've been through the last twenty-four hours, you don't have to give me an answer yet. Just give it a think over?"
Calleigh nodded and took another sip of coffee. "Speaking of Miami, aren't they missing you?"
"Are you kidding? Alexx practically drove me to the run-way."
She chuckled. She missed that about Miami too: Alexx mothering everybody, Eric twisting everything into an innuendo, Ryan hanging on Horatio's every word…
"Okay," Doctor Covarrubias announced, walking into the room her head buried in her clipboard. "You ready to get out of here?"
The Doctor smiled, "Get dressed and I'll have the nurse bring in your papers and pain killers."
"Thank you, Doctor. For everything." Calleigh got a wink in return.
At one time, Calleigh regarded the six month probation at work as a formality, now she saw it as a blessing. Within a few weeks her belongings where being shipped back to Miami, and herself on a plane heading in the same direction.