WAKING UP

A CSI Miami FanFic

By NiteJasmine

Set a short time after the Season 10 Premiere "Countermeasures."

Horatio is finally getting his much needed medical attention. However his injury is generating some unexpected consequences… But with whom?

Rated T for now, but depending how far this goes, possible M later…

Horatio lay motionless in his hospital bed. It was just after 9PM and the ICU ward was quiet. Only the sounds of the softly beeping monitors broke the gentle silence. His breathing, although sounding slightly labored, was slow and rhythmic.

The surgery had gone smoothly, and the bullet had been successfully removed from his right side with no complications. But the events of the last 24 hours had certainly taken their toll on the valiant redhead. He looked terribly pale, due to the extensive blood loss he had experienced since Randy North had shot him. He had also incurred some serious respiratory issues due to his time underwater freeing Natalia from the trunk of the car that the crazed Mr. North had locked her into before launching it off the end of the pier.

Considering the magnitude of the sheer physical trauma that he had been hammered with, it was hard to fathom how the man had managed to even stay on his feet, much less lead the stressful corralling of Randy North, and then the very physical pursuit and ultimate capture of the diabolical serial killer Jack Toller.

At the end of the day, Good had won out over Evil, another young girl's life had been saved, and two criminals were back behind bars. After a brief conversation standing in front of the MDPD building, Federal Agent Renee Locklear had asked him if he was OK. To which his husky, exhausted answer was, "I don't think so…"

She had gently guided him into their waiting vehicle, and whisked him away to the Hospital. He had passed out unconscious en route. They had flipped on the siren and called ahead, then made absolutely sure he was in good hands before they had to leave and head back to their own Agency Headquarters for their scheduled debriefing.

That had all been hours ago…

A nurse noiselessly entered the room and checked his vitals and IV drip, making a few notes on his chart. She looked over to the woman sitting half-asleep in the chair beside the recovering cop's bed. She saw the badge and gun clipped securely to the woman's belt and figured she was probably the guy's partner. That would certainly explain why this woman had suddenly appeared, and then had not left his side for a second since the redhead had come out of surgery. The nurse gently cleared her throat, getting the woman's attention, and a pair of tired eyes opened fully and looked over at her.

"He's still heavily sedated Ma'am," she said softly. "Probably won't be awake until morning. You should go home and get some sleep."

"Hmmm," the woman in the chair replied as she sat up, flexed her shoulders and rolled her neck slightly. "Thank you, I understand. But no. I think I'll stay right here."

The nurse shrugged in acknowledgement. "Okay. Not a problem at all," she answered, and left the room, returning to her station.

The woman took a deep breath, then stood and leaned over the sleeping Lieutenant. He was such an attractive man. Even as frail and vulnerable as he looked right now, she knew the strength and power of his true nature. She respected his intelligence, and admired his integrity, as well as his mule-stubborn tenacity. And she wished with all her heart that there could be a chance of something more than just a casual working relationship between them. But deep down, she seriously doubted it.

She longed to touch him, to comfort him… But it was forbidden. Or was it…?

She reached out and gently caressed her fingers across the back of his hand. She slowly slipped her hand into his and ran her thumb softly across his knuckles. Horatio did not stir.

Daring to go just a bit further, she reached out and brushed away a few copper locks of hair from his forehead, gently smoothing them back. If he were awake, she was sure that he certainly would have stopped her. But again, his breathing remained steady and even, and he didn't move a muscle.

"Oh, Horatio," she whispered as her fingertips drifted down the side of his face. She heard his breathing hitch, just for a small split second. She stopped, and waited, but then let her soft hands continue caressing his sleeping face.

Then she took the ultimate plunge. She licked her lips, and slowly lowered her delicate mouth down over his, capturing his lips in a light but wonderfully sensuous kiss. Her fingers lightly brushed his neck as their lips parted.

"Mmmmmm," she heard him moan, the sound barely audible. She smiled slightly.

"Mari…" he whispered hoarsely.

Her smile faded and she closed her eyes. She knew full well who Mari was… Marisol. His beloved late wife. And she also knew that his recent near-death experience had brought back vivid images of her to his mind. He had been heard calling her name out loud on several occasions over the past day, whenever he had been under extreme duress.

She suddenly felt awful for teasing him so. She had only wanted to comfort him, but she had gotten selfish, and now she may have done more harm than good. Maybe the nurse was right. She should just get the hell out of here and go home.

She opened her eyes and looked back down at him… and was startled to see a pair of sparkling blue eyes flutter to half-open and gaze hazily at her…

*TBC...*

Authors Note: *Reviews always welcome!*

Updates for all my other active stories are coming very soon… Thanks for Reading!