Disclaimer: CSI: Miami is owned by Alliance Atlantis, Bruckheimer Productions, CBS, and probably many others that I'm unaware of. None of these include me. I don't even really own the title, as I borrowed it from a MASH episode, but with every intention of bringing it back. MASH is owned by Twentieth Century Fox.
Calleigh Duquesne was crouched down next to a fence in a back garden, trying to fish a stubborn bullet out of the wood. Mumbling mild profanities to herself she shifted positions, trying to get a better grip on the bullet without damaging any striations that may have remained.
"Not having much luck, are you?"
Calleigh jumped, her hand automatically going to the gun strapped to her side as she turned to see that Eric had snuck up behind her. She had been so focused on the bullet that she hadn't even noticed his approach.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you that it's rude to sneak up on people? Especially when they're armed?"
"Didn't yours teach you that it's rude to ignore people?"
Calleigh gave Eric a strange look.
"I called you a couple of times but you didn't answer, so I came over to see how you were doing. You know, I'd have called your cell phone, but…"
"Am I ever going to be able to live that down? So I dropped my cell phone down a toilet; it can happen. Besides, I'm going to pick up my new one tomorrow. Maybe the teasing will stop then?" She had been planning on getting a new cell phone anyways, so it wasn't that big of a deal. The incident probably would have even gone completely unnoticed except for the fact that Eric and Ryan had been there to witness the embarrassment as she came out of the bathroom that morning, sans cell phone. The teasing hadn't stopped since.
"Oh, I don't know, I think I might need a better incentive than that," Eric replied.
"Alright, if I buy you dinner will that shut you up?" Calleigh retorted.
"Only if I get to pick the place."
"Good. So, what've you got?"
"One very stuck bullet that does not want to come out." By now Calleigh had resumed her attempts at removing the problem projectile. Finally, with one last twist, the bullet came free from its lodging place.
Calleigh turned with a triumphant look to Eric, who was smirking as he held out a bindle.
"Calleigh one, bullet zero," quipped Eric as he tore off a strip of evidence tape for the freshly sealed bullet, then added the bindle to the firearms evidence which now consisted of three bullets with three casings.
Meanwhile, Calleigh had stood up and was scanning the backyard. "Okay, so what do we have so far?" she asked.
"It appears that our victim, Nolan Waters, was hosting a backyard barbeque for some of his buddies. His wife, Anne, had gone out to spend the day shopping, leaving Nolan alone for some male bonding time. When she got back at 4:00 PM, she found Nolan in the backyard, shot to death, with none of the other party guests remaining. The bullet casings were found just outside the back fence, and the bullets were in the same general area in the yard, so we've already got a pretty good estimate on shooting location and trajectory. Horatio's out front with Tripp talking to the wife and any other possible witnesses, and I think he sent Wolfe out to do a perimeter to see if the perp left anything behind in the back alley, other than the casings," Eric summarised.
"Alright, well, if you don't need me here, I was going to head back to the lab and get started on these bullets. Maybe we'll get lucky and get an IBIS hit, narrow down the suspect pool a bit," Calleigh said, crouching down to collect the evidence she had pulled from the fence.
"Sounds good. I'll send Wolfe to the lab with the rest of the evidence when he gets back. I was going to stay, figured H could use some help with the witnesses out front."
As Calleigh was gathering up the rest of the firearms evidence she had collected, Horatio appeared at the gate.
"Uh, Calleigh. Can I talk to you for a second please?"
"Sure, handsome. I was just going to get this evidence back to the lab and get started on it. What do you need?"
"Well, actually, if you could just leave the evidence for Eric and Wolfe that would be good."
As Calleigh put the bags down, she began to get a sinking feeling in her stomach. Horatio had that concerned look on his face which never boded well for the recipient. She followed him around to the side of the house, waiting to see what he had to say.
"Calleigh, I just got a call from the hospital. It seems that your Dad was admitted after a car crash he was involved in."
Calleigh just stared at Horatio for a couple of seconds, trying to absorb what he had just told her.
"Calleigh? Are you alright?"
Horatio's voice broke her reverie.
"Uh, yeah. I'm fine. Um, do you need me, because I should really..."
"Go. The lab will be fine without you, take as long as you need. I just want to be sure that you're okay. Do you want someone to drive you?"
"No, that's fine. Thank you though, I'll see you later."
With that Calleigh left, heading for one of the department Hummer's as fast as she could walk. The only thing she had on her mind was getting to the hospital as fast as possible.
However, once she got behind the wheel, she found that she couldn't bring herself to start the engine. She rested her head on the steering wheel, tears stinging her eyes, thinking about her father. She had just returned his keys two weeks ago. Six months had passed since the incident at the construction site, and he had been doing so well since then. He was going to AA meetings regularly, and he hadn't even set foot in a bar after that day. She felt bad for doing it but she'd even checked this time. What had happened? She just hoped he hadn't hurt someone else as well.
It took only a second for these thoughts to whirl through her head, and only one second more to realize what she was doing. She didn't even know what had happened, yet she was immediately leaping to the assumption that he was drinking. Most people would have been worried about their family member and speeding off to the hospital but here she was, already blaming her father for the accident and wondering how many drinks he'd had.
With a sigh she raised her head from the steering wheel and put the key in the ignition. Clenching her teeth she started the car, silently praying to anyone that was listening that her Dad would be alright.