No Turning Back

Genre: Romance

Spoilers: Seasons 1-6

Couple: Horatio/ Calleigh

Rating: M for possible future chapters…

A/N: Here's my attempt at DuCaine. The response dictates whether this continues…. Enjoy!

A/N#2: I do not own any characters nor do I own CSI: Miami. I do plan on returning them…eventually…

The lab had been darkened for some time now, the day shift having long been gone and the night shift out on scenes, the emptiness serving as a constant reminder that crime in Miami never stopped. As she meandered through the deserted halls, her mind relived the day in living color, one scene after the other, until the memory began to flow into countless others. What they saw day in and day out, what they took with them at the end of the night was a heavy burden, one that wasn't easily relinquished. That weight settled around them ominously, imposing on their lives. Only a select few were ever able to be successfully in shedding the oppressive weight. Some used their families, others their hobbies, but for those who didn't have either, for him, there was no way to wash away the pain, the hurt, the despair. For him, it was always a constant reminder of his loss, a loss that he valiantly tried to ignore. She was determined to change that, knowing that on a night like tonight, he needed something to anchor to, to give him hope. Too many years had passed between them and tonight, she wanted to release him from the binds of desolation.

Ascending the stairs to his office, a small smirk appeared, noticing that his was the only light burning in the darkness, a beacon that used to be a testament to his devotion but now only served to speak to his loneliness. The years hadn't been kind to him in the least bit; from losing many friends in the line of duty, two of which still haunted him daily, to the very core of his being snatched away by one bullet, Horatio Caine had seen his fair amount of pain. And, as this happened, she had sat by idly, watching him suffer through this, her heart breaking at the sight of a broken man. She had been through her share of grief and disappointments as well, but they paled in comparison. Horatio's spirit had been desecrated and she believed she had the power to mend him. Under her loving touch, he wouldn't be completely healed, but she hoped that he'd be on the path to understanding. He'd been so long without love she couldn't stand to allow him even one second more of it.

Coming to rest at his door, she ran her hand through her blond strands and took a deep, cleansing breath, steeling her nerves for what she was about to do. Their history had told of her fascination of him; their flirty banter and glances, although lessening with time, was the one moment she had been true to herself and her feelings. She truly wanted to know how it would feel to be enveloped in his arms, to feel his soft touch on her skin, the gentle manner he would take her as they made love, even the intensity that she knew was bubbling under that cool exterior. At that thought, she bit her lip and smiled remembering how she pondered those exact thoughts for years on end, watching him establish relationships with other women, even congratulating him on marriage when she wanted to be the one who held his hand, who pronounced her undying love for him. She wanted to be the one he centered his life around, fiercely protecting her with everything he possessed. She wanted to be the one whom he loved more than anything else.

Raising her hand to knock, she exhaled heavily once more and then set the forces in motion with a quick rapt at the door. Despite the growing anticipation that manifested as nerves, she knew that there was no turning back.

Silence met her first knock and she crinkled her brow in confusion, sure that he was in there. She hadn't seen him for hours and a trip to the garage confirmed through evidence of his car still in his space, but as she stood longer, shifting her weight, she began to doubt that he was really there. Dropping her fist, a cloud of disappointment hovered over her as the silence continued to permeate through the still, darkened lab. Her heart fell at the missed opportunity and she turned, defeated, her thoughts now traveling to her own lonely existence, her eyes beginning to well. In her quest to show him hope, she was also exercising her own personal demons and loss. Turning, she felt the sting of rejection, even though she hadn't seen him face to face to determine that this just wasn't meant to be. Time and chance had stolen that from her and as she set her sights on her retreat, she began to force herself to accept it.

"Calleigh?" he called, his soft voice laced in part with confusion and intrigue. She turned on her heels quickly and wiped at her eyes, her heart speeding up at the sight of him. As he emerged fully into the corridor, she took in his form accentuated by the absence of his suit coat, the crisp white button up hugging him in all the right places. A shadow fell on his face but she could tell he was perplexed; his voice still unsure "Is there something wrong?"

Calleigh smiled and shook her head as she approached him; sure that her heart was going to leap out of her chest, his decidedly enticing aroma beginning to surround her. In what was a tumultuous mix of Miami air and his own masculine scent, it always awed her that his distinct aroma survived the day. Intoxicated by that smell, she laughed lightly, "Ah…no. I was leaving and I saw that you were still here and decided to test my wills in an effort to get you to leave. What are you still doing here, Horatio?"

In truth, Horatio didn't know that answer and as he shifted his weight uneasily, he was unable to come up with a valid excuse. All the work had been done, and he had miraculously caught up on the massive mountain of paperwork that used to inhabit his desk. No, in truth, he didn't want her to know that he was spending the last night of the year in solitude, reliving each debilitating loss. Relying on his standard line, emphasizing neither truth nor lie, a smirk rose, "Miami never closes."

"As true as that may be, you're still not expected to run yourself in the ground." She quirked her brow as she crossed her arms about her chest as she lazily admired him, his features, though weary, still holding her fascination. Since the moment they met, she'd been instantly drawn to the deep blue pools of his eyes as if she'd been seduced into a trance. There had been often times that she'd stared at them for so long that she'd forgotten the conversation, having been brought back by his questionable tone.

Inwardly shaking herself now, she frowned and glanced to the clock, "It's New Year's Eve, Horatio. A time for new beginnings…surely you don't want to begin this New Year reliving the past, do you?"

"Sometimes, Calleigh, that's all I find myself doing these days," he answered, his voice worn. He gestured to her and forced a small smile, "Don't you have a date tonight? Someone to bring in the New Year right?"

Calleigh bowed her head and bit her lip, not wanting him to see the sadness in her eyes. She'd been through so much in the past few years that she'd began to think that what she felt didn't matter. Finally able to lift her head she sighed and turned her intentions now on leaving before she embarrassed herself further.

"I'm sorry, Horatio. I didn't mean to bother you. I just…well never mind. Happy New Year. See you tomorrow."

Before she could reach the door, Horatio felt something inside of him bloom, and he reached to turn her to face him completely. He knew she wasn't going to talk, so he had to implore on another level. Searching her eyes, he crinkled his own, "You came for a reason, didn't you? You haven't said why."

His touch ignited a long dormant fire within her and she met his gaze, hoping that he would see what she felt, the unspoken words of love and concern that she had harbored all those years now surging through her, "For years, I've seen you do this to yourself. I've seen your pain and suffering, but for tonight, I wanted to show you that it doesn't have to hurt anymore." Moving closer to him, she lifted her hand and ran it over his cheek softly, watching as his eyes slid close almost blissfully at her touch. Her heart thrummed to life at the recognition of her touch and she whispered more, "I wanted to show you that you matter- to me."

Her words softened him, easing the dulling pain that he'd carried for so long, and her hand massaging his doubts away. When he opened his eyes, he saw the beautiful face that for years taunted him with her bright smile and sparkling eyes and sighed, his own weary visage feeling as if it weighed a ton. He wanted what she was offering, had thought about it constantly over the years, despite their distance. There was always a sense of longing that had deeply imprinted on him when it came to Calleigh, but time and circumstance never allowed him that luxury.

The air had suddenly been charged with an urgency like nothing he'd ever felt before, his brain was screaming for logic while his body commanded his deepest desires. Taking her hand into his, he brought it to his lips and kissed it softly, his blue eyes holding her steady and determined gaze. Breaking that gaze was difficult, but not as difficult as the words that were now on the tip of his tongue.

Unable to lift his eyes to hers, he sighed, "As much as I want this, Calleigh, we can't. It's a boundary that I won't cross with you…"

The moment had taken her and as the words began to filter over her, she felt herself coming back, her brow furrowing. He was denying what he needed….what he wanted? Loosening her hand away from his, she scowled, "How can you do this? Night after night, year after year, how can you deny what you know is right, Horatio?"

His head bowed as he took the fury that she expelled, feeling in some instances, that he deserved it. Their history was sorted and filled with potential, but his fears, his apprehensions had put up a boundary in part to keep her safe, but also to retain him. The heated stares and flirtatious banter that they shared often had him wishing he could take her into his arms and make good on the promises that they were both making unconsciously, but ever the stringent one, he contained his passion. Now as he stood in front of her, the soft lighting of the office lamp illuminating her, he could hardly find validation for his claim. Even as she was furious, she was a beautiful creature, one that he realized he was looking for all this time.

As she turned to leave, he reached for her and held her fast, his voice breaking the eerie silence that had settled between them, "Don't….Don't go."

"Don't go? Horatio, there comes a time where we have to make choices. Now is your chance, choose this or let me go. But don't ask me to cross this line with you, and then think nothing changes. From this point, there's no turning back. Everything changes, Horatio. Everything."

Her green eyes lit with the dogged determination that he found so alluring and he took a step closer even as he pulled her into him. Taking in a deep breath, he inhaled the scent that could only be Calleigh; a touch of vanilla and jasmine that had tempted him for years on end, luring him down the road to pleasure. A small smile rose as he caressed her face, his fingers now weaving through her long golden strands.

"What if I don't want to turn back?" he asked as he leaned to whisper into her ear. The room was pregnant with anticipatory silence with nothing but their breathing to echo the question left standing. He pulled away from her slowly, so many questions swirling in his head; what if he was ready to relinquish his control over his deepest desires? What if he was ready to lose himself within her?

The answer of her eyes sliding closed as if waiting for his touch infused him with the desire to keep going, tilting his head as he leaned towards her slightly. The first brush of their lips sent an electrical charge one that he could not simply ignore and it propelled him to do more. Applying more force, he released the strands of her hair and wrapped his arm around her waist crushing his body against hers. Frenzy took over and he found himself pawing at her blouse, trying to get the bloody thing off as she was equally determined to rid him of his shirt. The popping of buttons gave evidence of her success, and he arched a brow as she gazed up at him sexily, biting her lip, her eyebrow lilting just slightly. So many of her facial expressions were fascinating to him, but this was the one he desired to see as he laid claim to her.

Standing and gazing at each other, Horatio smirked and nodded, "A night of choices…"

"Yes, and which one will you choose?" she asked wickedly. Arching her brow, she smirked, "Choose wisely, the rewards will be great…."

TBC…