A/N: own nothing

this is for April's OC challenge on CCOAC forum.

David Rossi & OC – Caleb Overton

Birth To Death

Rossi was sat in his mansion reading by lamplight thinking of old times, the problems which come from being an ex-Marine and reading a war novel. Mudgie nestled beside him whimpering lightly, he would really need to take Mudgie to the vet one day, once his work stopped getting in the way that is. Those days in Vietnam had been some of his best and worst. His saviour had been meeting Caleb, Caleb Overton, resident ladies man and all-round joker. He didn't want to be a Marine but the army thought he was too radical and the Navy thought he was too undisciplined and with your father being buddies with Harry S. Truman you really don't have a choice than to join one branch of the armed forces. Caleb had been his tent-mate since the day he'd landed at camp. The camp was a little over a half mile from the front line, it was situated in a former village with a name he couldn't pronounce without coming across as being racist. Rossi lay the book down and lifted a pad, he should write Caleb a letter tell him what happened after the war ended. The promise of writing every month had started with good intentions but as usual never lasted. The argument being who wants to remember those who you went to war and saw the darkest days of humanity unfold before your eyes. Then there had been Emma. The catalyst to the whole distance between them. She had always been his girl but Caleb had come over one summer after the war had ended and well that had been it. But Rossi won her back, temporarily, but with his backhanded attitude towards getting her back drove Caleb to drink and then to gambling and when he ran out of money – a loan shark. And this was no lowly wannabe gangster he wanted blood for the money and if he couldn't get Caleb he'd hurt the most precious thing to him – Emma. That was the final nail in a rather nasty looking coffin. But he'd be damned if he didn't reach out to Caleb, it had been too long and the hatchet was needing buried before either of them died.

David attempted to start the letter several times:

Dear Caleb; Dear Mr Overton: no that was too formal. To a former friend? That was closer. After losing Caroline he wanted to grab life by the short and curlies as Penny had told him countless times.

Dear Friend,

I'm sorry it's taken so long to write but life has gotten in the way, again. It's been too long since that summer after Vietnam and I hate to have left it all these years, and I'm so sorry about what happened. I loved her purely and honestly, she was everything to me and I ruined that, I ruined us; our friendship. Emma got caught in the web of a world she never should have been in, which is my fault. Tony and Michael wouldn't let me come to the funeral, I never did say goodbye. I just wish we could have done this differently, our lives got too complicated too quickly. It's no excuse I know but still, its all I have.

I'm with the FBI, the way we always talked about at night. I hope you managed to get it together, I'm just so sorry, and I know this seems repetitive but you will never know just how sorry I am...

"Oh screw it," thought David Rossi, he'd never reply he'd probably burn the letter and hope you die in a fire as well. You ruined that man's life and you know it. The inner monologue coming from his subconscious – naturally in the form of his mother – berating him for even thinking that a letter could make up for all the damage. If it was one thing David Rossi was good at was making sure he ruined everything he touched. Hell Erin Strauss would back that up, the hatred he felt off her was overwhelming sometimes, but yet again he knew he deserved it.

"Maybe just a phonecall will do? What do you think Mudgie?"

Mudgie just grunted, annoyed at being woken up from his nice nap next to the fireplace. At that David Rossi checked the time and decided it would be too late to phone tonight and would do it first thing tomorrow.

Meanwhile in Springfield, Missouri Caleb Overton sat looking over an old Marine photo taken on the day he had met the new recruits, one of whom being David Rossi. He had been so excited that day, there had been a push on and the Vietnamese were on the brink of surrender when the orders had came to pull back. That had been the event which triggered the spiral. The nights had seemed longer because had they not pulled back the village of My Lai 4 then the village wouldn't have been destroyed in what became a game of search and destroy by some rogue Marines in their unit. And then the Marines had the damn audacity to promote them, saying they were national heroes when all they had done was destroy a village and kill countless men, women and children for the privilege of a damn medal on their chest. As Caleb looked up from the photo he realised that there was no need to hold the grudges he had in the past. The Vietnamese people certainly hadn't when he'd went over to help with the recovery effort. At that Caleb picked up a notepad and began to write the same letter David had started to write for Caleb.

Dear Friend,

I'm sorry it's taken so long to write but life has gotten in the way, again. It's been too long since that summer after Vietnam and I hate to have left it all these years, and I'm so sorry about what happened...

"Hopefully this will be enough," thought Caleb, hoping that maybe he'd get his friend back and possibly finally feel at peace.

Happy Reading & Reviewing.

If I get a good enough response I will carry on the story from the past to the present. And for those who will be querying whether this is the Emma who David spoke about in CM, no its someone else, just coincidence.