New idea, new story. (Just to clarify, this fic is not related to Recoil, Vapour or Acrylic.)
I came up with the plot after being forced to participate in a similar situation and was interested to see if I could recreate it CSI:Miami style.
Oh, but I started writing this before 'Ambush' and 'All in' so there aren't any references to these episodes.
Just a Little Black Rain Cloud...
Calleigh was not happy. She entered the break room with such force that Ryan was surprised the glass door hadn't shattered in her wake. He caught Valera's eye and raised his eyebrows knowingly, before the two of them watched as Calleigh headed straight for the coffee and poured herself a cup, emitting a few 'huffs' and sighs as she did so. Ryan couldn't help but smile at the sight in front of him; the usually smartly dressed, professional Calleigh was in crops and a figure hugging white V-neck T-shirt, her blonde hair tied up messily. 'She still looked good though,' he couldn't help but notice. He knew Eric would probably kill him for thinking it; Ryan wasn't quite sure what, but there was definitely something going on between his two colleagues. But he was, however, a red-blooded male and besides, he only had feelings of friendship towards Calleigh; it had been her who had mentored him when he'd first joined the team and her who had acted as a necessary buffer between him and Eric...
Ryan nearly winced when she turned round to face him; her eyes were flashing dangerously.
"So, anyone know why we've been called in on our day off yet?" she asked, her voice tight. Aside from a short page that had told her to wear casual, comfortable clothes and not jeans, she had absolutely no idea, and the not knowing was driving her a little insane.
"No," Ryan croaked, shaking his head.
Calleigh sighed irritably and settled herself down at the table. She reached for a magazine and began to thumb through it carelessly.
Valera caught Ryan's eye with a knowing look. She wasn't particularly happy herself that she'd had to come in but she was a little curious. A loud thud broke her thoughts as Calleigh practically threw the magazine across the table.
"Where's Eric?" she asked, her eyes narrowing.
"Uh, he's not here yet," Ryan shrugged as he turned around to get a look at the two people who had just entered the room. Natalia flung herself down on the couch while Tripp headed for the biscuit tin, both muttering a quite "hey" as they did so.
An uncomfortable silence diffused through the room, none of them particularly wanting to be there, but Calleigh's clear annoyance was heightening the tension. Normally, she'd like to think that she would have been able to control her emotions better but today was Saturday, her sacred day of relaxation and and she was extremely pissed off about having to work.
The door opened again and the figure that moved through it did nothing to enhance her mood. Rick Stetler settled himself down in front of her and produced a clipboard. Calleigh studied his appearance; he was wearing a baseball jersey, a ridiculous hat that there really was no explanation for, and a whistle dangled lazily around his neck.
"Morning all. Sorry to call you in on your day off – " He paused when he heard Calleigh scoff. "Something wrong CSI Duquense?"
"Well, on the brightside, things couldn't get worse," she replied with a tight smile.
Before he could retort, another figure moved through the door behind him.
"What the hell Rick?" Eric growled as he made his way to the coffee machine.
Rick's eyes narrowed. "Nice to see you've finally arrived. I thought we'd discussed your punctuation."
Eric sighed as he sat down next to Calleigh, and shrugged. He caught her eye as Stetler's phone went and the man temporarily excused himself, and Eric couldn't help but notice that she looked good. There had always been a mutual attraction between the two of them but lately, it felt as though things were definitely heating up. Since he'd been shot, he'd revaluated his life and had come to notice the little things that he'd taken for granted in their relationship. The way they always knew what each other was thinking, the way that they were always quick to defend each other and, of course, the deep felt trust they both shared were just some of the many things he could think of. He was slowly coming to realise that he was in love with her although in hindsight, a part of him probably always had been.
Calleigh allowed the eye contact to linger for a moment; 'he was staring, why couldn't she?' His hair was messy, like he'd just gotten out of bed and a light shadow along his jaw line told her that he hadn't shaved this morning; she wasn't quite sure why, but she found that it made him seem even more attractive. She moved her eyes away from his and they began to travel down his body. Like her, he'd opted for a white T-shirt that served only to enhance his muscles and he'd pulled on some khaki shorts. Realising that her gaze had lingered a little too long, she looked away as a blush started to creep in, her brain silently hoping that he hadn't noticed.
Eric smiled; he had. He tried to catch her eye again but Stetler interrupted them.
"Now I suppose you're all wondering why you're here," he was a little put out when no one, save from Valera, showed any interest. "Human Resources have decided that it is time for a team building session and they've asked yours truly, to lead it," he continued proudly.
Rick surveyed the room for a moment. Valera looked puzzled, while Ryan was frowning. Tripp looked as though he was asleep and Natalia had raised an eyebrow, clearly unimpressed. He turned his attention to Eric and Calleigh who had both adopted matching scowls; they were not happy. With a sigh, Rick ignored the reaction of the group and began to pass a piece of paper around the room. "This is today's itinerary. It is designed to help improve team relations and I intend to make it a success. Don't look at me like that, CSI Duquesne, this day is supposed to be fun and I refuse to let you and your rain cloud stop it from being so."
"Oh, I don't know Rick. If it was supposed to be fun, they wouldn't have put you in charge now would they?" Calleigh smiled back at him sweetly, deliberately enhancing her Southern accent.
Stetler shot a glare around the room as the group stifled their laugher, some of them having more success than others. Once he was satisfied that he had the attention of the room once more, he began again. "As you can see, we've got a lot to do today so let's get moving. I'll meet you all outside in ten. There's a mini bus waiting for us," he paused as he moved for the door. "Any questions?"
"You know when I said things couldn't get any worse?" a Southern accent drawled.
"Anyone else other than Miss. Cynical over here?" Rick sighed.
"Actually, I do have a serious question Rick," Calleigh began tightly, choosing to ignore his remark as an idea crept in. He drew his arms across his chest and waited for her to continue. "Will you be participating in our activities, or are you just going to be a bystander?"
"I'll be participating. I believe that it's important to lead by example, why?"
Calleigh stifled her sarcastic comment; the idea of Rick leading by example was both hilarious and terrifying, and she wasn't easily scared. Instead, she chose to feign innocence. "No reason; just curious," she shrugged, flashing him smile.
"Uh, huh," Rick eyed her curiously. "Anyone else?"
Valera cleared her throat. "Yeah, where's Horatio?"
"He's meeting us there, he's just tying up a few loose ends of a case. Now if there's nothing else, I'll see you all outside shortly." He flashed them a smirk before he left the room.
"God hates me," Ryan moaned as soon as the door was shut.
Eric glanced down at the first item on the itinerary and exchanged a look with Calleigh. She raised her eyebrows playfully, her mouth toying with a knowing smile.
"Actually Ryan," She turned to face him. "That depends on whose team you're on."
Ryan studied her for a moment. Her eyes were sparkling dangerously, her brain obviously conspiring wickedly, and one look at Delko told him that Eric was well aware what Calleigh was thinking, but before he could ask what was going on, Calleigh rose and left the room, Eric following her out.
He looked around at the rest of the group. Natalia's face reflected his own puzzlement and Frank still looked as though he was asleep, but Valera's eyes had widened. She was staring down at the schedule, a look of horror creeping across her features.
"Oh, God," she whispered.
Frowning, Ryan looked at the piece of paper in his hand, his frown quickly turning to a grimace. "Oh, God," he echoed Valera. 'This was not going to be fun.'
If you're interested to see where I'm going, I'll get started on the next chapter. :D