Title: The Vault

Author: Simply Cath

Rating: PG-13

Content: Some violence and a bit of bad language.

Disclaimer: Don't own the characters or the franchise. Not making any money off this and it's a work of total fiction.

Summary: Horatio is locked in a bank vault with a wounded Ryan.

Notes: Takes place a day or two after "A Sheep in Wolfe's Clothing." I thought Ryan got treated a bit unfairly so I decided to resolve that by ... well treating him a little more unfairly, I guess *G*. This is my first trip into the fandom. Enjoy.

The Vault

By: Catherine

Dusk or dawn, the Miami sun never failed to make him squint a little. Ryan grabbed his case and locked up his car, sprinting into the bank. He carefully schooled his expression, trying not to show any pain; ugh, there was nothing worse than having sore ribs. He spotted his coworkers by the vault and trotted over, doing his best to ignore the looks that Eric and Calleigh shot at him. "What's going on?" He asked.

"Attempted robbery. Two gunmen came in right at closing, got the vault open, but the tellers managed to pull the alarm. Perps shot them both. One didn't make it and the other's in surgery. Cops interrupted the robbery." Frank gestured to the dead man inside the vault. "We're canvassing for the other guy."

Ryan's eyes were drawn not to the body, but to the frantic movements of the coroner. "So what's the problem?"

"The problem, Mr. Wolfe," Horatio began, staring at the body. "Is that the vault is programmed to seal every night at eight pm."

"Two minutes from now." Eric sounded disgusted. "Not enough time to get the body out and we'll lose any time-sensitive evidence."

"Can't the manager shut it down?" Ryan winced.

Calleigh shook her head. "It'd take a few hours to do that anyway."

Ryan spoke before he could stop himself. "Not like they shut the air off in there, right? I'll stay I and process the scene." He shrugged. "I could use the OT."

"I'll give you a hand, Mr. Wolfe." Horatio said, grabbing his kit and stepping inside.

Ryan would have said something, but the massive door had already begun to close. He picked up his case and slid inside, trying not to wince at the ominous clang that trapped them both. He gritted his teeth, tossed his sport coat aside and got to work.

Eric stared at the door, then snorted. "Can you believe Wolfe? Probably trying to suck up."

"Had to be done, does it really matter?" She reached over and flicked on a monitor, revealing Ryan and Horatio inside the vault. She was surprised by the audio as Horatio asked Ryan to take crime scene photos while Caine processed the body. "Almost like a reality show," she smirked.

"Trapped in a vault with Wolfe for nine hours? H can have it."

"Be nice." Calleigh smacked his shoulder lightly. "Come on, we've got a crime scene of our own to process."

Jason gripped his knife and wiped the sweat from his brow. Christ, how had this all gone so wrong? It was supposed to be a quick job, grab the cash and run; but that asshole Dennis decided he wanted to get into the vault, totally out of the blue! Now he was dead, Billy was gone and here he was, trapped with two cops inside a goddamned bank vault. Okay, he only had one chance to get out of here. Switching the knife to his other hand, Jason advanced towards the guy crouched over Dennis' body.

As Ryan set down the last marker, he couldn't help but appreciate the simplicity of a crime scene like this. Normally, the vault was impeccable, so as a result, Ryan knew that every disturbance told a part of the story. Each open drawer or pile of cash filled a gap in their narrative. He straightened up, grimacing in pain. Damn, now he was going to miss that doctor's appointment tomorrow. Oh well, wasn't like there was much they could do for bruised ribs anyway. He shrugged to himself and took a few pictures.

Once he was finished, he snapped the cover back on the lens and shut off his camera. Grabbing his kit, Ryan started back over to Horatio. "H, I've..." His eyes widened when he saw the man advancing on Horatio. Wolfe reacted on instinct. He dropped his case and sprinted forward just as Horatio started to rise. "Suspect on location!" The words tumbled out as Ryan's mouth slammed into Caine at full speed. Wolfe gasped at a sudden burst of pain.

Horatio stumbled, knocked off balance. He didn't think, only reacted. He caught a glint of metal and fired his weapon through his jacket, hitting the suspected between the eyes. Blood had begun leaking through the hole before he hit the ground.

"Mr. Wolfe, are you all right?" Horatio straightened and made his way over to Ryan. He got there just in time to catch the younger man as he began to fall. "Mr. Wolfe--" His words trailed off as he saw the handle of a knife sticking out of Ryan's abdomen.


Eric set down his phone. "Frank says they caught the second guy."

"That's good to know." Calleigh packed up the last of her samples, then winced as she straightened up. The case was pretty cut and dry, especially now that all the suspects were accounted for, but that didn't mean they could afford to slack off.

She blinked when she heard Ryan's voice coming from the monitor and her heart leapt into her throat as she heard those three terrifying words "Suspect on location!" The gunshot that followed sent her running to the monitor, with Eric close on her heels.

"Oh my god," she breathed, as she watched Horatio prop Ryan up against the wall in a sitting position. "Oh god, he's got--"

Eric's jaw set into a strong, determined line. "We've got to get them out of there now." He turned away, whipping out his cellphone.

Seven hours, Calleigh thought; seven more hours.