Title: The Resurrection and the Light
Summary: This one is dark and angry people. And most definitely not work safe. Angry!Calleigh really pushed the muse's buttons, so the emotional fallout from the events in the episode is continued here.
Spoilers: CSI: Miami 7x01 Resurrection. If you don't want to be spoiled, quit reading!!
A/N: So I am apparently continuing the "Beyond the scenes" series. It won't happen for every ep. Lets face it, sometimes the muse just won't bite. But she did for this one. Assumes an established relationship.
"Horatio's gone. He's dead."
White nose: it filled her ears. She couldn't hear the rest of what Wolfe was saying or what Eric was yelling. There was only the empty roar in her mind where a gaping whole had been torn.
"Horatio's gone. Horatio's dead." Ryan spoke, but the words themselves seemed to form from the nothingness in her mind. The syllables rang in her ears, echoing louder and louder until they became a piercing scream, shattering her heart into a thousand pieces and fracturing the mirror of her reality, scattering the shards until she could no longer make sense of the world.
This is wrong!
Calleigh wanted to cry, but nothing emerged from a throat suddenly closed tight. The denial felt like acid inside her, as if any second the words might burn their way out of her chest. To stop the pain she might have let them…if for one second she had believed that screaming would help.
But even as the roar began to subside, even as she forced herself to breathe, even as she grabbed the slivers of this new world with a soul that bled freely as the shards sliced her….the words kept ringing. Horatio's dead.
And as the screaming faded, she realized…She was the leader now. From this day on, and it was up to her.
"What do we do?"
"We find out who did this. We find out." she nearly snarled. And they would, because if it was the last thing Calleigh Duquesne did, she would have justice for Horatio. For all of them.
Eric was so angry. It radiated off the younger man like an electric wave, sending invisible sparks into the air. Nor was he alone. The entire lab was charged; a lit fuse just searching for an incendiary device. And somewhere deep inside, Calleigh knew she had to be careful, because she could very well be that device. Eric's anger was but a pale reflection of the rage she felt, but unlike her younger colleague, Calleigh would not, could not let it out. Because the moment she did…someone would pay. There would be no putting it back into the box; no regaining that precious control once she loosed it from its shackles. So she chased the evidence, because it was the only thing she could do.
"Horatio's alive. He's alive ok!" Ryan ground out. Real fear and desperation threaded his voice as he fought Eric's grip.
Struggling to deny his death all day, inexplicably Calleigh's mind now struggled to accept Ryan's words. She was almost afraid to believe, perhaps because some part of her understood that if she did – if she latched onto Ryan's gasping confession – and that hope was false….it would kill her.
"Horatio. Is. Alive."
Wolfe continued his story, telling them how he had helped Horatio fake his own death; the plausibility of it, the logic…and Calleigh believed. Such a simple thing, belief, but it had the power to shift the world back onto its axis. For the first time in hours the detective felt like she could breathe again. A weight – the terrible, crushing weight that had threatened to break her from the moment Ryan had first spoken on the hot tarmac of the air strip – was lifted. Not completely - the ballistics expert could still feel it threatening just out of reach - but she could move now.
Now all that was left to do was keep anyone else from discovering the truth too early, and bring Horatio home.
Natalia couldn't believe it. As if there was a wall of stone between her eyes and her mind, no matter how long she looked, the CSI couldn't believe that this was his blood: Horatio's blood. She could not comprehend that what she beheld once belonged to the man who had accepted her; protected her, championed her: who had kept her secrets and trusted her,
There didn't seem to be enough of it.
It was irrelevant at this moment that she had seen far worse: that her gaze had traveled across blood spatter far more vivid, or pools larger and more grotesque. The sticky, dark red stain on the burning asphalt was all that remained to prove Horatio Caine had once lived, and Natalia's mind could not accept that.
Some last part of the CSI that had not gone completely numb screamed at the injustice. There had been no warning: nothing this morning to portend that this would be the day their world was ripped apart.
Had it only been hours ago that Calleigh had told her how much she loved the red shirt Natalia wore? It seemed so much longer. Such an unassuming start to their day. The sparkle in Calleigh's jade eyes and the sultry smirk on her full lips had let the brunette know more than words what her lover thought of the outfit, and she'd teased her, running a finger down the deep 'V' and inquiring archly, "What? This old thing?"
It had all been so simple, so ordinary and safe and unaware. And now…
Calleigh. If there was one constant in the lab, it was Calleigh's unshakable bond with their Lieutenant. Their trust in each other was unbreakable, their connection forged at a level beyond friendship. It was an absolute, not a variable, and imagining either without it was impossible.
God, Calleigh. This is going to kill her. Natalia tasted the acrid tang of panic on the back of her throat as worry for the woman she loved eclipsed her own shock and pain.
Battling the numbness that held her, she looked up, searching the crime scene, but Calleigh was already gone.
She wouldn't see her for the rest of the day.
Natalia strode into Calleigh's condo, elation, confusion and fear clamoring for supremacy inside her. The events of the day had left her nearly shaking with a terrible energy she couldn't name and it felt as if she was spinning farther away from her center, threatening to be pulled apart.
"Calleigh?" she called, her voice sharp, almost strident with worry.
"I'm here Natalia," came the quiet reply from deeper inside the house.
Relief washed through her, but its respite was brief.
That reply had been too quiet.
Natalia turned the corner into the kitchen and her impetus died. Calleigh stood at the sink, her back to the brunette. She had shed her suit jacket and her badge, and her Smith & Wesson sat on the counter, but she was not unoccupied.
In her hand, the smaller woman held a single bullet.
Even from across the room Natalia recognized one of the deadly alloy rounds they had been chasing all day, trying desperately to get off the streets of Miami – the rounds Horatio had pretended to give his life for.
The small knot of worry in Natalia's stomach grew tighter as she watched the other woman.
With delicate fingers, the detective raised the small construction of metal up to the deep, lazy afternoon sunlight pouring in through the large kitchen window, just as one might examine a precious stone. Calleigh made no other movement; she simply stared at the bullet, twisting it back and forth in the sun. Suddenly wary, Natalia nevertheless pressed forward, moving to stand just behind her.
Her head tipped back, the waning light flowed across the smaller woman's features, making her skin glow with an almost otherworldly quality.
"Cal? Its true? He's really ok?" Natalia's voice emerged from her throat muted, nearly a whisper that she feared the pounding of her own heart might drown out.
The detective did not reply. Instead, with a deliberate, almost mechanical motion Calleigh lowered the bullet, setting it point up on the counter. The shining silver gleamed softly against the darker granite, creating a tiny sculpture of death sitting quietly in the middle of the domesticity of the brightly painted kitchen.
Calleigh turned and raised her face to Natalia's, and the shiver became something else. There was a fey light in the jade eyes in front of her that had nothing to do with the sun, and beneath it, Natalia could see an unfamiliar darkness swirling.
And suddenly she understood.
With insight born of love and familiarity, Natalia caught a glimpse of what it had cost Calleigh to lead this investigation – to keep the others together when she herself was breaking – to deal with the death, and resurrection of her dearest friend and most trusted ally; to hold the center when things were falling apart.
There was a storm raging beneath Calleigh's calm facade and in that moment of clarity, Natalia knew it had to blow itself out.
There were several options of course, and Calleigh's most common outlet was guns. There had been rough days and rough cases before that had ended with the ballistics expert on the range, blowing paper targets to bits until the concentration and physical control needed to shoot gradually worked through the tension to send it bleeding from her body.
But the detective wasn't the only one whose world had been she broken and remade in a day, and right now, Natalia Boa Vista had had enough of bullets.
So she made a decision.
Putting down her own gun and badge alongside Calleigh's, Natalia stepped close, deliberately pressing their bodies lightly together. She cupped Calleigh's face in her hands, tracing thumbs over now flushed cheekbones and holding still-dry eyes with her own gaze.
The first kiss was feather light, just the merest touch of lips like rose petals brushing, but it brought Calleigh's body more firmly against her own. The detective instinctively sought to be closer, wrapping her arms around Natalia's neck.
The taller woman opened her mouth, letting Calleigh's tongue slip inside her, but though the kiss became searching and deep, Natalia knew that her lover was holding back. She could feel it, like looking at a maelstrom just on the other side of a window – the only thing separating her from the storm a fragile pane of glass.
Pulling back, Natalia considered how to break that barrier.
Since their first tentative kiss on a moonlit beach Calleigh had never been anything but gentle with Natalia. Even when separation or circumstance or simple, heady lust fired their passion, there was a delicacy and a care to the Detective's touch that never failed to make Natalia ache, filling her heart with a fierce, incredible power.
As she looked at her lover now; at the tiniest of tremors that swept through her and the hard, shining light in eyes that suddenly wouldn't meet her own, Natalia understood that there would be no gentleness tonight. And though her heart quickened, racing inside her chest, it wasn't from fear.
"Calleigh…" she peeled away everything but the depth of emotion she felt for the woman in front of her, and it lent steel to her voice.
This close, she could see the tiny flare of blood beneath sun kissed skin at Calleigh's throat and feel the smaller woman's breath against her cheek.
For a moment neither moved, the detective's eyes searching her face for something.
"Natalia," she whispered harshly. Her voice shook with strain and the taller woman heard the silent war in that single word: the struggle between Calleigh's desire for control, and her desperate need to let go.
"Let go love. I'm here, just let go." Natalia's words were low, but fierce and when she kissed the detective again, it was hard.
There was no sound when Calleigh finally gave in, but as the detective let loose whatever barrier had held back the flood of her desire, Natalia felt it wash over her like a raging river.
The detective's mouth against hers was hungry and possessive, her tongue tangling hot and seeking with Natalia's as her hands fisted in caramel hair, holding them close. For Natalia it was like trying to breathe in a hurricane – there was air, it was an exhilarating struggle to draw it into her lungs.
The brunette had been right: it wasn't gentle, but as Calleigh pushed her against the wall the feeling of her lover's body against her and the cool, hard drywall against her shoulder blades nearly overloaded her nerves.
But this wasn't just about Calleigh, and so Natalia pushed right back.
Clothes suffered and the red top that had been remarked upon this morning was probably ruined as the smaller detective stripped Natalia mercilessly. They left a trail of garments like brightly colored markers as they gravitated toward the bedroom.
Together they were a living tangle of eager hands and searching mouths. When Calleigh used a hand in Natalia's hair to pull her head back sharply and lick her way down a bared throat, the taller woman moaned, her legs going week as her body sought to surrender to her lover's ferocity. It took an almost painful effort to force her hands to work at the buttons on Calleigh's slacks and push the detective back.
Finally, the last barrier between them was thrown aside and then it was nothing but the press soft curves and firm muscle, separated only by heated skin.
Natalia's entire body was on fire and where Calleigh's hands and lips trailed, molten need was left behind. When the detective thrust a toned thigh between her legs she bit her lip, only just stopping herself from slamming her head into the wall. As it was, the slight sting rushed into her already racing blood, adding to the electricity there.
Despite her intentions – and her own need – in the face of Calleigh's passion, Natalia found herself growing weaker. The desire just to give in and let her love take her was gradually overwhelming her and when the detective sucked a pebbled nipple into her mouth and bit down – Natalia's body made the decision for her. Pain and pleasure had no boundaries anymore, and when Calleigh gripped her arms and spun them to the bed, landing so that she was straddling Natalia, the brunette let go.
Now instead of pushing, she opened herself to Calleigh, letting the detective's tongue take possession of her mouth, her skin, her breasts: letting those elegant hands control her body, making it writhe and beg for the smaller woman to end the wonderful, excruciating torment.
When bruising fingers gripped her thighs, Natalia gasped, willingly complying, but where she expected fulfillment, the touch faltered and gradually softened, fading until it was feather light.
Battling a thick fog of lust and the pulsing need of her own body, Natalia blinked, struggling to focus in the now dim light.
What she saw made her swallow, but not from fear or anticipation.
Since she'd spoken in the kitchen, giving Calleigh permission to let go, the detective's eyes had been glazed – the normally clear windows to her heart shuttered as the smaller woman fought her way through a far off place.
Looking at the woman kneeling between her legs, Natalia saw Calleigh, her lover, her best friend, and the one person she knew would never hurt her.
"Nat?" The lust roughened accent cracked on the single syllable, but her eyes finished the question.
Natalia could have cried, but instead she simply gripped Calleigh's arm gently, drawing delicate fingers up her thigh, giving her permission one more time.
Even if she hadn't been incredibly ready, slick and full with want, Natalia would have welcomed the sharp edge of pleasure as Calleigh pushed into her. As it was, the sensation of her lover inside her, touching her with skillful, knowing fingers, sent her arching off the bed as her release rolled over her – the culmination of the storm at long last.
Shuddering and struggling to regain control of her body, Natalia nevertheless felt her breath catch in her throat when Calleigh left her gently and moved close to pull her into slender arms. She returned the embrace fiercely, needing the closeness.
Pressing her cheek into the skin of the smaller woman's shoulder – skin she was fairly sure would bear her teeth marks in the morning – Natalia could hear the racing of Calleigh's heart and as her own calmed, she raised her head. Finding Calleigh's eyes, she read one last need in the glittering gaze, and with a gentle touch, set about assuaging it.
Natalia's body ached pleasantly and she could already pinpoint several scratches and a bite mark or two that were beginning to make themselves known, but she didn't care. She felt sated and whole, and next to her, Calleigh's eyes were clear and un-shadowed.
Pressed together in each other's arms with the sheets tangled around them and sense of weary peace pervading the room, Natalia finally gave rise to the question that had been waiting in her mind the entire day.
"Cal, what really happened?"
"What really happened?"
The question was spoken softly, the careful tone telling Calleigh that her lover understood how difficult it would be to relive the day. Sated and empty of her earlier turmoil, the care filled the detective with warmth and gratitude. Still, she didn't respond right away.
Reaching up to push a damp tendril of hair behind Natalia's ear, Calleigh leaned close and kissed the taller woman's temple.
There was so much she wanted to say at this moment – so many things that she wanted, needed to discuss with Natalia – but just as it had earlier today, one simple phrase drowned out everything else.
Unlike then, however, she had no trouble speaking these words aloud.
"I love you, Natalia."
Raising her eyes, she watched as the desire for understanding faded from Natalia's face, to be replaced with a soft, wonderful expression.
A soft hand cupped Calleigh's cheek and then the woman she could no longer imagine her life without bent her head and pressed their lips together.
"I love you too." It was an assurance and acceptance in a simple phrase, and with it, Calleigh pulled the covers around their cooling bodies, snuggling closer and resting her head below Natalia's chin. Sleep was beckoning and questions could wait. Whatever else might happen – for now – everything was as it should be.
As Calleigh lost the battle with waking, the only sound in her ears was the steady beat of Natalia's heart.