Disclaimer: I do not own CSI: Miami or anything related to it. No profit is made from this fic.
Dedication: To Dolly, for planting the idea in my head.
Warning: Contains much dark subject material in the first several chapters, interspersed with light-hearted comedy. Violence; mentions of rape, torture and child abuse; foul language. No graphic descriptions of the abuse, because even writing it squicks me out a little.
Notes: Fic starts during the break between seasons one and two. For background timeline, I'm using the same as is in the first chapter of Daddy's Little Girl, also archived here at . Now, on with the show.
A large man stood in a hallway, clenched his fist and cracked his knuckles. The girl in the kitchen flinched at the sound, knowing what was about to come. She continued preparing dinner, though she was shaking so badly that she knocked the chopped vegetables to the ground. It was just the opening the man had been looking for.
Several miles away, Horatio Caine sank into the chair behind his desk. He had just wrapped up a case and now had to finish all the paperwork. It was the bane of his existence, taking precious time away from actually solving crimes. Horatio pulled the case file toward him and reviewed the notes his team had written, preparing to write the final report.
The girl sat huddled in the corner, blood dripping from her nose and mouth. She didn't cry though - she was so used to the pain that she had stopped crying years ago. She cuddled her knees to her chest, trying to gain the strength to stand back up. She could hear the water on the stove top beginning to boil, and tried to pull herself up, before she fell to the ground. Her dark red hair spread around her like a halo, and she closed her eyes. This time, she knew, it wasn't going to be okay.
Calleigh Duquesne signed her name with a flourish, humming a cheerful song to herself. She loved the feeling when a case was closed and she could go home for the whole weekend. Her heels clunked on the floor beneath her as she made her way up to Horatio's office. She knocked on the door and walked in without bothering to wait for an answer, smiling brightly at her boss.
"Hey Handsome. Final Ballistics report as requested."
"Thanks," he muttered, smiling at the sound of her voice. Her drawl had lulled many a man into a false sense of security, including him when she had first transferred to his team, and Horatio still liked to listen to it.
"So, do I get to go to that spa this weekend?" Calleigh perched on the edge of Horatio's desk. He knew that she had plans for the weekend, which she'd nearly had to cancel due to the case.
"Absolutely, Calleigh. Enjoy your weekend," Horatio nodded.
"Oh, I will. You know what the boys are up to?" She tilted her head to one side, wondering about her boss as well but unsure of how to ask him.
The man stood over his wife's niece, glaring. Stupid little bitch had ruined dinner again. He shoved the rest of the meat into his mouth and swallowed, barely chewing. He took a moment, then smiled and tipped the boiling water from the stove top onto her head.
After a moment, he noticed that she hadn't screamed.
Tim Speedle raised his arms above his head, stretching. His shoulders ached from hunching over microscopes and other equipment for most of the day, but he was happy none the less. Any minute now, he'd get a call from the girl he was seeing and he could tell her that dinner was back on.
He saw Calleigh headed up to Horatio's office and decided to join them. If he was lucky, he could get some more info for the betting pool. He had ten dollars riding on them already having slept together.
Looking down at the girl, the man frowned. She hadn't moved. He kicked her brutally in the ribs and heard a crack, but there was no reaction. He leaned down and grabbed her hair, yanking her into a sitting position before letting go. Again, there was a crack as her head hit the floor, but she didn't let out so much as a whimper. Her chest was moving slightly, she was alive, but definitely unconscious.
Shrugging, he turned to leave. She'd wake up sooner or later.
Eric Delko jogged down the corridor and caught up with Speed at the bottom of the stairs leading to Horatio's office.
"Hey man," the younger man grinned. "You all done for the night?"
"Just dropping this off with H," Eric held up a sheaf of papers. "Then I'm outta here, got a date with a smokin' girl. Redhead, five feet six, biggest set of-"
"I get the picture," Speed rolled his eyes as they climbed the stairs.
"Eyes. I was going to say eyes," Eric grinned. "Why do you always think the worst of me?"
"Because it's usually right," Speed quipped. The two walked into the office together, laughing.
Something was wrong. The man couldn't believe it - the little bitch had done something to the food. He couldn't breathe. He fell to his knees, clutching at his throat. He managed to crawl out of the front door, desperate to reach his car.
He was going to kill that little bitch.
Dr. Alexx Woods wandered in, smiling at the team of the day shift. Her babies.
"Well, isn't this nice? Everyone able to go home for the night." Alexx was looking forward to the meal her husband was cooking for her and the kids. After that, she would take her kids to the cinema for the first time in months.
"It's wonderful," Calleigh smiled back. "Everyone has plans."
Speed shook his head.
"Which means that we're probably about to get a call-out."
"Shut up, Speed!" Eric punched his friend in the arm. "You're gonna make the phone ring with that attitude."
Horatio chuckled as his pager went off, to audible groans from his team. He glanced at the number, then shrugged.
"Don't worry, you lot. It's not a body. Director wants to talk to me." Horatio stood, before waving his team away. "Now get out of here, you've all got places to be. I don't want to see you until tomorrow morning at the earliest. Calleigh, enjoy your weekend."
"Oh, I will. Tell you all about it Monday."
"Looking forward to it, Sweetheart."
Speed and Eric shared a look, before turning and heading out.
The girl lay comatose in the kitchen. Her skin was already starting to blister from the boiling water that had been poured on her face and neck. Blood was seeping from the back of her head. Her foot was twisted in completely the wrong direction, obviously broken. She had never been closer to death.
Out in the front garden, the man drew his last breath just as his wife came home. At the sound of her scream, her neighbour ran to her side, pulling out her cell phone at the same time.
Eric and Speed had reached the elevator when they heard Calleigh.
"Damn it! Guys, get back here. We got a body."
"Shit," Speed swore. "I knew it."