Disclaimer: I don't own anything, but gosh I wish I did.
A/N: This is set after All In. Also, I can't write Horatio very well, so if he seems out of character…I'm sorry! Thanks to Jessica237 for doing a fabulous job betaing! I hope you all like this. Enjoy!
"I don't know what I would have done if something happened to you today."Those words had been running through Calleigh's head on the way home; while she was eating dinner and while she was washing dishes. She was unable to concentrate on the movie she was watching because of those words. Now she was in bed replaying that scene over and over in her head.
"So, what are you going to do, take a couple days off?" Eric asked.
"I honestly don't know," Calleigh confessed. "I just want to go home and think about what happened."
"Wait," Eric called out to her as she turned around to leave. "You're not going home alone."
"Eric, thanks, but I'm fine, really," Calleigh assured him.
"Well, I'm not," Eric admitted. "I don't know what I would have done if something happened to you today."
For a minute Calleigh was unable to work her vocal cords. Eventually, she was able to whisper, "Okay."
This was the reason Eric was on her couch right now and the reason Calleigh was awake. She couldn't figure out what those words meant. Well, she knew what they meant, but were they holding hidden meaning as well? Did he feel the same way about her as she had about him since the first day she saw him? So many more questions were running through her head. So many that she hadn't had time to ask anyone today. What was going to happen to Cooper about the website? How was she going to find out what Eric really meant with those words? What would have happened to her if they hadn't saved her when they did? Well, she knew what would've happened, but how would it have happened? She wanted/needed answers to all of these questions, but she eventually she couldn't fight sleep off any longer and the exhaustion overtook her.
Eric was sitting on Calleigh's couch, very uncomfortably. He wouldn't let himself get comfortable, because he refused to fall asleep. The one time Calleigh actually needed him he was nowhere to be found. He felt so guilty. He was going to make sure he could always be there for her now.
Eric was a little bit worried about what he told Calleigh before he brought her home. "I don't know what I would've done if something happened to you today."She had been pretty quiet for the rest of the night. Of course, that was almost one of the first things he said (stupid!), so she could just be thinking about getting abducted.
Eric always worried about Calleigh even though she could "take care of herself," as she often reminded him. He wasn't yet sure how he was going handle the times when he couldn't be with her. It was going to take some time to convince himself Calleigh would be fine! Eric also had to be very discreet about this as well, because she would no doubt get mad if she knew what he was doing.
Suddenly, Eric heard something. He wasn't sure what the sounds were, but they sounded like they were coming from Calleigh's room. She hadn't said anything like "no midnight tiptoe," and even if she had, he wouldn't have cared. He needed to see what was making those sounds.
Eric walked to Calleigh's room and softly pushed open the door. He saw her tossing and turning in her bed. She was also making soft, scared whimpers. Eric quickly walked over to her and shook her lightly. Her eyes shot open, she sat up and hastily looked around her room.
"What!" Calleigh exclaimed.
"You were having a bad dream," explained Eric.
"I was?" Calleigh questioned.
Eric gave her a soothing smile, hoping to calm her down some. "You were."
"Oh," Calleigh stated.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Eric asked. "Are you okay?"
"Eric, I'm fine," Calleigh told him. "And no, I don't want to talk about it."
"Calleigh—" Eric began.
"Eric, I'm fine," Calleigh repeated.
"Do you really expect me to believe that?" Eric questioned her.
"Maybe not," Calleigh said. "But I do expect you not to push it."
"Okay," Eric agreed, he knew better than to ask anything more tonight. He got up to leave. "Goodnight."
Calleigh smiled at him as he left. She lay back down and snuggled into the covers, but she was strangely cold. She shivered. Calleigh felt the concrete floor on her shoulder and the cold barrel of the gun against her temple as it had been when she was abducted as well as in the dream. Calleigh shivered again and she knew she wouldn't be sleeping any more that night, and it was only 12:30.
The next morning Calleigh was up and ready at 6:30, the same time as normal, even though she hadn't slept very much. After all, she was "fine." She had never taken a sick day in her life and a little abduction was not going to make her start.
Calleigh walked into the living room and saw Eric sleeping on her couch. He looked awfully uncomfortable and she was almost sure he was going to have a stiff neck. She sighed and again wished she had enough courage to tell him how she felt about him, but she didn't.
Calleigh gently shook Eric's shoulder. "Time to get up, Eric."
"What time is it?" Eric grumbled sleepily.
"It's 6:30, now you need to wake up!" Calleigh repeated.
"You are much too cheerful in the morning," Eric told her. "I'm guessing you had your coffee."
Calleigh rolled her eyes. "Yes, and there is some for you in the kitchen if you would get off the couch!"
"Okay, okay. I'm off the couch. Happy?" Eric teased.
Calleigh smiled. "Very happy. Eric, I have to thank you."
"For what?" Eric asked, confused.
"For being you, and for being here when I needed you," Calleigh explained. "And especially for not pushing me to talk about…anything last night."
"No problem," Eric told her as he walked off toward the kitchen to get some coffee.
Horatio saw Calleigh and Eric walk into the lab together and he smiled. He knew Calleigh would be here today, she had never taken a sick day and he knew she wouldn't start today. He was a little worried about her, so he was going to give her the chance to take the day off if she wanted. Horatio paged her and sat down behind his desk to wait.
When Calleigh walked in she looked like her usual cheery self. Not that she would dare to look any different. After all, she was Calleigh.
"How are you this morning?" asked Horatio, although he already knew the answer.
"I'm fine," she told him.
Horatio nodded. "Well, I just wanted to say if need to take the day off for any—"
"Horatio, I told you, I'm fine!" Calleigh interrupted.
"Okay," Horatio agreed. He had learned long ago, that if you value your life, do not mess with Calleigh Duquesne, especially when she claimed she was fine. After all, she was the best shot in the country, and Horatio had no intentions of dying today. "At least go home a little early though. And let Eric take care of you for a few more days. He was worried, you know."
Calleigh's stomach jumped. Eric was worried about her? Calleigh nodded. "Okay, I'll go home early and let Eric take care of me, but neither of these things can or will become a habit."
Horatio's lips pulled up into something that resembled a smile. "Now do you think I would let going home early become a habit, ma'am?"
Calleigh laughed as she walked out of Horatio's office. "Of course not."
After a day, Calleigh was getting tired of going home early and having Eric take care of her. After a week, she couldn't stand it anymore! She was trying to figure out a way to tell Eric that he didn't need to be with her all the time when he walked into ballistics.
"I have been called out on a case with Natalia," Eric told her. "I tried to get Ryan to go but—"
"No Eric, it's okay," Calleigh interrupted. "In fact, I was going to go home at the regular time."
"I might not be here to take you," Eric stated.
"I know," Calleigh said. "And that's okay. It's been a week and I refuse to keep getting special treatment. I'm fine."
Eric opened his mouth to say something, but Calleigh wouldn't let him. "I'm fine!" she repeated.
Eric nodded his head. "I value my life so I'm not going to argue, but if you need anything just call me."
Calleigh smiled. "Who else would I call?"
When Calleigh got home her house felt strangely empty. It had only been a week, but Eric had become somewhat of a permanent fixture. She couldn't believe she was thinking this, but she missed him. A lot. Oh well, she would eat a quick dinner and go to bed.
"Now that he's gone we can have some fun," Seth told her while laughing evilly.
"I would rather die than have you touch me," Calleigh said, thoroughly disgusted.
"Oh, don't worry, eventually you will," Seth promised.
Seth began to hit her on her arms and legs and kick her in the stomach repeatedly. He also slapped her across the face, but Calleigh refused to cry. She thought she was going to die right then, so she sat there thinking about Eric while Seth hit her. She wished she had told Eric how she felt. She also wished he could save her from all this.
Just when Calleigh thought she couldn't take it anymore she felt the barrel of the gun on her temple and BANG!
Calleigh's eyes shot open and she screamed. She was shaking from head to toe. She wondered why Eric had not come rushing into her bedroom, but then remembered he wasn't on her couch tonight. She really missed him now.
It was funny, when Eric stayed, Calleigh didn't have any dreams like this, except for one right after the abduction. She was still shaking, but she couldn't manage to stop. The dream seemed so real. She actually wished Eric was here right now, to at least confirm the fact that she was safe.
Eric had said if she needed anything to call him. It was awfully late though; 1:30 in fact. Calleigh also didn't want to seem weak. It took a minute, but she decided she didn't care. She picked up the phone and dialed Eric's number hoping he wouldn't yell at her for waking him up from his sleep.
Eric was still sitting on his couch, just like he had been since he got home. He was trying to watch some late night talk show, but it wasn't working out very well. He was too busy thinking about Calleigh, and wondering if she was okay. He was almost sure she was, but he couldn't help but worry. He stayed on his couch, and let his thoughts wander again, because he knew, even if he went to bed, he wouldn't be sleeping any that night.
Suddenly his pocket began to vibrate. He quickly pulled out his cell phone and flipped it open even quicker when he saw the number on the caller ID. He would know that number anywhere. It was Calleigh.
"Calleigh, what's wrong?" Eric asked, trying to keep the panic out of his voice.
"Um…" Calleigh stalled. Now that she called she couldn't think of a way to voice her worries without sounding like a total idiot. "I didn't wake you up, did I? Because, I mean, if I did, I can just hang up and go back to bed."
Eric rolled his eyes, he should have expected this. "Calleigh, just tell me why you called. I wasn't asleep, I promise."
Calleigh gulped. "Well, I was asleep, but then…well…Oh! It's just stupid. Never mind."
"Calleigh, please just talk to me," Eric begged her. "What happened?" Eric was getting rather frustrated at this point.
"Are you dressed?" Calleigh questioned. She didn't particularly want to drag him out of his house it the middle of the night at all, but making him put on presentable clothes in the process would be making it even worse.
Eric smiled. He now had an inkling as to why she was stalling. "Yes, I'm dressed, and I'm coming over to your house."
"Eric—" Calleigh began, but he had already hung up the phone. She hated it that he could read her so well. No, scratch that, at times like this, she loved it.
Calleigh's only problem now was how to tell Eric about her dream. She didn't want to seem weak, but at the same time, she needed to feel safe. That was why she had called Eric, because she knew he would make her feel safe. She had to tell him what made her unsure of her safety in the first place, before he could do any of that.
She was not ready for him, yet Eric was knocking on her door. She still had not worked out what she was going to say to him, but she would think of something.
"Hey Eric," she said as she opened the door. "Thank you for coming."
"It's no problem," he told her. "I know that you are not going to want to talk about why you called me and I completely understand that. I do think that it would help if you talked about it though."
Calleigh sighed, she knew she was going to have to talk about it, and she knew he would say something like that, but she didn't expect it so soon. "You have to promise not to laugh at me or anything like that."
"Calleigh, have I ever laughed at you?" Eric questioned. "About serious stuff, I mean."
Calleigh smiled. "I guess not." She took a deep breath and before she could even comprehend what she was doing, the whole story spilled out of her mouth. When Calleigh finished, she couldn't look at Eric, because of the tears that were threatening to fall down her cheeks.
Eric's lips were pressed tightly together in a thin line. Someday, he would thoroughly hurt the man who threatened Calleigh. He couldn't believe anyone would hit Calleigh. She had done absolutely nothing wrong! "Did he actually threaten to…well," Eric stopped. He didn't know how to word that sentence. He didn't exactly want to have to use the word rape. He knew Seth's priors, and he quickly sent a prayer up to any god that was listening.
Calleigh gave a small smile. "He did threaten to rape me, if that is what you were trying to say. But he never got the chance, thank goodness. He was too busy threatening to kill me." Her eyes filled up with tears again, but she turned away and tried to hold them in as best as she could.
Eric pulled her into his arms. He was surprised when Calleigh didn't pull away, but leaned into him instead. She buried her head into his chest and cried. Eric always had somewhat of a hard time telling when she was crying, because she never made a sound, but he was sure she was crying this time; her body was shaking with her quiet sobs.
Eric held her tighter and rubbed his hands in, what he hoped were, soothing circles on her back. "I'm here. I won't let anything happen to you. You're safe now," Eric whispered over and over again.
After Calleigh had somewhat composed herself she smiled through the tears that were still falling. "I knew you would say that," Calleigh said, against his chest. "That's why I needed you tonight."
Eric continued to rub circles on Calleigh's back and flipped on her TV. He didn't exactly turn it on with the intention of watching it, he just knew they both needed some sound.
Calleigh smiled while keeping her face buried in his chest. She couldn't believe he always knew exactly what she was thinking all the time. As they sat back on the couch, Calleigh snuggled closer to him, rested her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. One of Eric's arms was protectively around her, and the fingers on his other hand were combing themselves through her hair. She loved how by just holding her he could make her feel like nothing would ever hurt her. She was finally able to fall asleep again, in Eric's arms, not worrying about being awakened by dreams.
After about thirty minutes, Eric felt Calleigh's breathing even out and he knew she was asleep. Although he would love to stay right here all night and hold the love of his life in his arms, he didn't want Calleigh to have a sore neck tomorrow. He easily picked her up in his arms and carried her to her bed. He laid her down gently and drew the covers up to her chin. As he brushed a lock of hair away from her face, he smiled and turned to leave the room.
"Eric," Calleigh whispered while grabbing his hand. "Don't leave me."
"I won't leave you Calleigh," Eric promised. "Never." Eric only wished she knew how much he meant those words. How much he loved her.
Eric didn't exactly want to climb into her bed with all his clothes on, so he left his boxers and undershirt on and slid under the covers. Calleigh quickly moved over and snuggled closer to him. Eric resumed his motions from the couch and he felt Calleigh relax against him.
As soon as Calleigh's breathing evened out, Eric thought she was asleep so he whispered, "I will always keep you safe. I will never let anything hurt you again. I love you."
Calleigh, floating somewhere between sleep and consciousness became alert when she heard those word. She suddenly realized she wasn't scared anymore. She was going to tell him how she felt. As she turned her head to look at him she whispered back, "I love you too Eric."
Eric gasped. "Calleigh, I thought you were asleep. I'm sorry."
Calleigh shook her head. "No, please don't be sorry."
"I do love you," Eric admitted. "I just wasn't sure if you wanted me to."
Calleigh smiled. "I love you so much."
Before Eric could say anything else, Calleigh brought her lips to his in a quick kiss. She made it quick because she wanted to see how he was going to react. He smiled at her.
"You aren't going to break my heart, are you?" Calleigh questioned Eric.
Eric smiled and cupped Calleigh's face with his hands. He then met her lips with hers and kissed her like no one had ever kissed her before in her life. He wanted to show her how much he loved her and why he couldn't bear to break her heart.
"Does that answer your question?" Eric asked.
Calleigh nodded her head and smiled. All thoughts and possibilities of dreams about her abduction were gone in that instant. She laid her head on his chest and fell into a deep sleep. Her sleep was filled with dreams, but this time they were only about Eric Delko, and how safe she felt with him.
So…what do you think? I hope you all like it. If you did, I have a great idea, why don't you review! If you didn't, why don't you tell me what you didn't like…in a review! Thanks so much!