Spoilers - 'Man Down'
MiamiFicTalk Challenge Prompt - #03 Friends
Fic - #16

Her head was bowed, her body moving on autopilot. Her mind chanting over and over "Get to the car. Get to the car." She vaguely registered that people were calling to her, saying hello, asking how Eric was, but all she heard was "Get to the car," and all she saw was her boots quickly walking out of the hospital.

If she focussed on her chant, the fact that Eric was lying on his possible death bed wouldn't mean she broke down. Not yet. There was a time and a place for grief.

Anyway, there wasn't anything to grieve. Eric wasn't dead. He was still breathing. He was just in a coma. He was healing. He was going to be fine. He wasn't going to die like Speedle.

She finally got to the car. She only realised because the full mid-day heat hit her body as she left the air-conditioned hospital. A shiver ran through her body.

She climbed in, her head still bowed, her mind still chanting. She put the keys in the ignition and leant across to the glove box. Her fingers numbly found the iPod adaptor and attached it. She flicked down to the genre she wanted and slammed the player into the slot.

Instantly the heavy drums and guitars loudly filled the car. Her head fell onto the wheel as she sighed deeply.

If she couldn't hear herself think, she couldn't remember that another dear friend had been the victim of a weapon she classed as her specialty. She could suppress the image of a prone, lifeless body she once knew to be so alive. Because he was going to die, wasn't he. He was going to die and everything would change again. Alexx would have to do the autopsy, she would have to examine the fatal bullet at close range and Horatio… God, Horatio wouldn't handle another death. Not Eric's. Not his brother-in-law's.

Her fingers blindly located the volume switch and turned the music even louder, drowning out her thoughts until all she could hear was the melody among the madness.

She took deep breaths. Deep breaths. She told herself another chant.

He will be fine. He will be fine. He will be fine.