This is my first shot at a CSI: Miami fanfic. This was originally written and posted on another forum as a H/C fic but with the way canon seems to be heading, I revised the whole thing for Eric and Calleigh. A word of warning, this takes place in the third season - after Speed's death but before Hagan's suicide - so don't expect a 'happily ever after' E/C ending. According to canon, there's still Eric with Natalia and Calleigh with Jake, so while this story's ending will see some progress in the right direction, the complicated dance between these two will continue.

Usual warnings apply - characters not mine, no money, don't sue.

Chapter 1


8:10 AM

Horatio Caine got out of his Hummer and walked over to where Detective Frank Tripp was standing in conversation with two uniforms. Finishing what he was telling the patrolmen, Tripp turned towards the house. "This one is going to be a bitch," was all he said at the moment. Caine was a man of few words and appreciated brevity. They stopped in the entrance of an expensive Miami home. Tripp glanced over at Horatio, "It's the Hennesseys."

Caine's eyebrows rose. Darian Hennessey was one of Miami's rich and powerful. Retired after amassing a fortune in the textile industry, talk had him about to throw his hat into the political ring. Tripp was right, this was going to be a bitch.

"Mr. Hennessey was found in the study at the back of the house. Two rounds to the chest." Tripp turned and gestured up the stairs, "Mrs. Hennessey was in the master bath, a round to the head. There doesn't seem to be anything out of place. He still had his wallet, her jewelry box was untouched. There's no one else living in the house. According to the neighbors, their kids are married and living out of state. They were well-liked and respected in the community. No one has any idea who would want to kill either of them. The maid found them when she came into work today."

Caine nodded slightly, "I'd say we have our work cut out for us." He came to a quick decision as he pulled out his cellphone. It would be better to get the whole team on this one right from the start. The double murder of the well-to-do couple would be all over the news soon enough. He needed to do what he could to get a jump on the evidence before it turned into a media feeding frenzy.


8:45 AM

Alexx and Calleigh looked at the body of Darian Hennessey. He was in the middle of the floor on his back. A book was lying just outside his right hand. His eyes were still open, he looked surprised.

"Liver temp puts death about twelve hours ago. Entrance wounds in the upper and lower left quadrants of the chest. There's stippling so it was close range," Alexx noted. She rolled him on his side, "One exit wound, bottom of the upper right quadrant. Looks like he bled out but I'll be able to tell for sure at the post."

Calleigh knelt down to get a look, "From the size of it, I'd say it was at least a 9mm. No casings, the killer took the time to clean up after himself." She glanced over her shoulder and then stood up, "It looks like he fell straight back." She tracked the trajectory in her mind, then picked up her kit and strode to the far wall, "So the slug should be somewhere around here... "

Eric looked into the master bath where Wolfe was taking photographs, "What have you got so far?"

"High velocity spatter with a gap." Ryan glanced over at Delko, "Our perp's got blood and brain matter on him. There's a partial footprint, big enough to be a man. Apparently our shooter just walked right up to the vic and opened fire. It doesn't look like she tried to stand up or turn away. Either she was too frightened to move or she didn't think he'd shoot."

"Maybe she was asleep," Delko offered, looking around the bathroom. "My sisters would do it all the time. Bubble bath, candles, music - then they'd conk out. I don't know why they never drowned."

Ryan considered the scenario and then shook his head, "One day, someone is going to have to explain to me about women and bubble baths."


8:30 AM

Horatio strode to the conference room where he was meeting with Eric and Calleigh. The picture the Hennessey case presented was frustratingly incomplete. There were secrets lurking within that house and Caine was determined to expose them. Although it had been less than 72 hours since the murders occurred, the pressure was mounting for some sort of progress. Part of the pressure was coming from above, quite a bit was coming from the outside. Daniel Hennessey, the eldest son of Darian and Constance, had blown into town full of grief, anger and indignant impatience. He wanted answers and he wanted the murderer and he wanted them immediately. Unsatisfied with what Horatio would tell him, he'd taken his case to the media and given them an earful.

With the unwelcome goading from Daniel, the well-to-do couple's double homicide had turned into the media circus that Horatio had feared. Deep in the midst of the summer doldrums, editors and news directors gleefully latched onto the case, using Daniel Hennessey's ranting as a colorful backdrop. Although it wasn't on the scale of an OJ Simpson or a Robert Blake, it was as close to a celebrity murder as Miami had come lately and they intended to make the most of it. Horatio had already heard from further up the chain of command that there had better not be any screw-ups. It had necessitated stationing a patrolman at the crime scene to keep overzealous reporters out.

At the moment, they were fresh out of leads. The Hennesseys seemed like the perfect couple. Even their household employees had nothing but good things to say about them and seemed genuinely grief-stricken at their demise. Darian and Constance sounded too good to be true, so why would anyone kill them? It was a mystery Horatio was determined to solve. They were delving deeper into the Hennesseys' backgrounds but it was slow going. It seemed that Darian Hennessey was powerful enough even in death to warrant discretion on the part of friends and colleagues.

Stymied on that front, Caine was not one to give up easily. He firmly subscribed to the old adage when all else fails, go back to the source. A second, expanded look at the house and crime scene might bring forward something that hadn't been apparent the first time. Horatio had made the decision to have his most experienced CSIs handle this latest examination. Calleigh and Eric would process the place again while Wolfe continued analyzing the trace evidence already gathered. The two would head over while Horatio attempted to distract the media.

With Frank's help, they would do what they could to keep the press at arm's length. All manner of media types were crawling out of the woodwork, each doing his or her best to bring back the most memorable soundbite. Not only were they staking out the Hennessey house, they were also circling Police Headquarters. Security had been kept busy chasing the more persistent ones out of the parking garage. In an effort to give his people breathing space, Horatio and Frank had decided to hold a press conference. Hopefully, this would keep the reporters' attention focused away from the Hennessey home and his CSIs would be able to go over the crime scenes again without having half a dozen microphones and cameras shoved in their faces.


9:10 AM

Calleigh and Eric grabbed their kits out of the Hummer and walked up to the house. "Back again," Delko commented. Calleigh nodded absently. Eric looked over at her, "You okay? You seem kind of distracted." She'd appeared normal enough during their meeting with Horatio. Those two definitely worked on identical wavelengths. It was no wonder she was the unofficial second-in-command at the lab. Calleigh had the same knack for making intuitive leaps when pursuing evidence that Horatio did and she had fully concurred with his opinion that there was more to be found. It had been on the drive over that she'd grown somewhat pensive.

She flashed him a quick smile, "I'm sorry, I'm fine." Calleigh paused and then added off-handedly, "Family stuff... you know how it is." She knew Eric wasn't one to pry merely for prying's sake and was only concerned. She didn't want to hurt his feelings and this was one excuse that was guaranteed to give her some room. It even held a kernel of truth. She just wouldn't tell him that the 'family stuff' was actually about her and the prickly feeling that something was, or was about to go, wrong. She didn't believe in psychic mumbo-jumbo, having endured a surfeit of the same while growing up.

Her great-aunt on her mother's side, Aunt Alma Dee, had always claimed to have second sight and was forever getting 'feelings' of approaching doom. Nothing seemed to please the old woman more than predicting catastrophe and ill fortune. Given the predilection towards, and the consequences of excessive drink that Calleigh's parents shared, the Duquesnes were among her favorite targets. Calleigh, who took pride in a proper Southern upbringing, had bitten her tongue with every triumphant 'I told you so' issued by the old biddy. Aunt Alma had had a field day when she'd heard about Calleigh joining the police force. After the initial spate of doom-laden predictions (none of which came to pass), Alma was finally reduced to a list of dire warnings which she continued to send annually along with a Christmas card. Her second sight apparently failed to see the incongruity.

Calleigh had dismissed it then and was all for dismissing it now. For the life of her, she couldn't pinpoint a reason for feeling the way she was and that was damned annoying. Even more annoying was the fact that she couldn't seem to shake it. For someone who lived and breathed cold, hard evidence, this was just plain crazy. One thing was certain, though, she definitely wasn't planning on sharing this particular subject with Eric. They were close enough that he'd have fun giving her hell about her faulty 'feminine intuition' until she'd have to seriously consider shooting him.

Meanwhile, Eric was nodding sympathetically. He didn't know a lot about her family but he'd seen enough to realize how touchy she could be on the subject. He was a little surprised that Calleigh had mentioned them at all but figured she'd talk when she was ready. Cautiously, he ventured, "Hey, if you need an ear, just yell."

This time, Calleigh's smile was brighter, reminded once again of what a good friend Eric truly was. Although it would have taken wild horses to drag it out of her, she'd always felt an attraction towards her fellow CSI. They'd grown closer over the years and while she counted herself lucky to have him in her life, she was also aware it wasn't going to go beyond friendship. Tall, dark and handsome, Eric was a player and she simply wasn't his type, "Thanks, I appreciate the offer." They reached the entrance foyer and stopped. She glanced up at Delko, "How do you want to handle this?"

Eric smiled. It was so typical of Calleigh not to flaunt the fact that she was the lead CSI. Speed had once joked that it was noblesse oblige, one of the inevitable consequences of a Southern Belle upbringing. That innate politeness, however, didn't mean that she allowed anyone to run roughshod over her. Eric had learned in a hurry that she was quite capable of flaying someone alive when necessary. Invariably, some newbie detective or lawyer would make the mistake of judging her strictly on appearance. She'd get that look on her face and then it was 'Katie bar the door'. Eric always wished he could figure out ahead of time when these things would happen - he'd sell tickets and clean up. Looking down at the blonde, he paused thoughtfully, "How about we each take a scene? I'll take the upstairs one," he offered gallantly.

Calleigh looked up the long, winding staircase, "Deal." Soon enough, she was deeply immersed in her investigation. Methodically, she worked the scene, starting where the body had been and moving slowly outward. Reaching the desk up against the wall, she directed her light around the sides and stopped. A small flash of white had caught her eye.

Intrigued, she knelt down for a closer look. It was the corner of an envelope but there wasn't even enough room to slide her fingers in to reach it. Calleigh stood up and eyed the desk. It was large, ornate and very solid-looking. Moving this thing was going to be a challenge. Grabbing a corner, she braced herself and pulled. It barely moved an inch. Damn, the thing probably weighed more than she did. Cal toyed with the idea of calling Eric down and then decided against it. It was hard enough working in a field dominated by men without handing them ammunition about the 'weaker sex'. Not that Eric was like that, but he wouldn't be able to resist some light-hearted teasing and she just wasn't in the mood.

She braced herself and yanked again, hoping her back wasn't going to pay the price in her stand for sisterhood. Again, the desk moved less than an inch. She crouched down next to it, there was just enough room to see. The envelope had been taped to the back of the desk. One corner had worked its way loose and had swung it down, exposing that little bit of an edge that had caught her attention. She shook her head. Horatio had been right about taking a second look. It was spooky, sometimes, how that man's mind worked. How could he have known?

Flattening her hand, Calleigh reached behind the desk and slid the envelope free. It was heavier than she expected but she managed to maintain a two-fingered grip until she had cleared the desk. Opening it up, she pulled out a handful of photographs and papers. Her eyebrows rose in surprise. The photos looked like video captures and they showed Mrs. Hennessey in a variety of compromising positions with a tawny-haired man. The documents looked like financial statements. Calleigh studied the pictures and felt a grim satisfaction. So much for the 'solid' marriage. She was probably looking at their number one suspect. This was a lead that could undoubtedly break the case wide open. Eric needed to see them. She stuffed everything back in the envelope and stood up.

Without warning, a heavy weight slammed Cal into the wall, driving the air from her lungs. Although she had instinctively braced against it, her head impacted hard enough to make her see stars. Dazed, her head throbbing, she struggled to draw a breath. A hand clamped over her mouth, yanking her away from the wall and then her back exploded in searing pain. Abruptly released, she collapsed forward and slid down the wall into a crumpled heap on the floor. Unable to move, Calleigh laid there on her side, blinking slowly at the envelope that had fallen from her hand during the attack. The pain was worse than anything she'd ever experienced.. She could feel a steady stream of blood pulsing out, soaking her clothes as it made its way to the floor. She had a sudden irrational fear that the room would fill with blood and she would drown.

A pair of shoes came into her field of vision and Calleigh's sense of confusion grew. Something wasn't right about the shoes but she couldn't make her mind cooperate. Why was it so hard to focus? That line of thought completely vanished when a large hand appeared and she saw the blood on it. Her blood, she realized in dull fascination. The hand picked up the envelope from where it had landed. It disappeared and the shoes turned and headed for the hallway. A few seconds later, they were back and moving quickly into the room. Calleigh watched as more of her assailant came into view. It was the man from the photographs and he was doing something at one of the floor to ceiling bookcases. He stepped back as that section of wall swung silently open revealing a hallway. The man vanished inside and the bookcase swung shut. It was like he'd never been there at all. 'Magic,' Cal thought fuzzily. The pain was disappearing and being replaced by a chilling numbness. 'Death', whispered a distant little corner of her mind and she wondered vaguely why she wasn't feeling more alarmed at the prospect. The numbness continued to spread. It was getting harder to keep her eyes open, harder to breathe.

Eric finished bagging his last sample and glanced at his watch. He'd been at it for little over an hour. The news conference was well over by now which meant that they could easily have company on their way out. Hell, considering the sheer nerve of some reporters, he wouldn't be surprised to find a few of them in the house. He snorted irritably at the thought. Wolfe might enjoy watching himself on the news but Eric didn't like it and he knew Calleigh didn't either. There were enough nutcases out there already, neither wanted to give them someone to fixate on. He looked around the bedroom one more time. Expanding the search for new evidence hadn't turned up anything obvious on the second floor although he'd bagged and tagged what he'd found just in case. Eric shrugged to himself, maybe Horatio's instincts had been wrong for once and there was nothing more to this than the Hennesseys being the unlucky victims of a random killer.

Grabbing his kit, he headed for the steps. "Hey Calleigh, how're you doing?" he called once he'd made it to the hallway leading to the study. When he didn't hear a reply, he shook his head. That woman was capable of tuning out the world when she was focused on a crime scene. It made her a very thorough investigator but sometimes it was a pain in the ass. He strode into the room, "C'mon Cal, it's not that hard a question." His good-natured gibe died in his throat. Dear god...