This was a prompt on tumblr, which I felt obligated to do because it came with a lovely compliment.
Disclaimer - This could potentially ruin your day, idk.
It surprises him when he finds her sitting cross-legged on the kitchen counter. She's wearing her threadbare pair of gray yoga pants with one of his over-sized Heat Wave promotional sweatshirts hanging off of her thin frame, the black cotton almost swallowing her up in the dim kitchen. She'd pulled her hair back into a messy bun on the back of her head, tendrils falling loose around the curves of the face as she stared down at the glass of water in her hands, her thumb absentmindedly sweeping over the edge of the glass.
She's supposed to be in bed.
He moves over to her slowly, feeling the weight of the day drag down on him, threatening to pull him into the floor and never let him stand again, and if he was feeling like the world was caving in on him he had no idea what she was feeling. He let his feet shuffle across the floor so she wouldn't be surprised when he came to stand in front of her.
He tried to stay away from her, tried to give her space like he knew she wanted but he couldn't. It's been 4 hours since she'd been released from the hospital, ordered by unsympathetic doctors to not get out of bed, 4 hours since she's said anything to him, touched him, gave any indication that she realizes he's there.
It's been 4 hours since she got that vacant look in her eyes.
When he gets close enough, he realizes that the glass isn't filled with water. It's filled to the brim with scotch and he can smell it from 5 feet away. He comes to a stop in front of her, stutters for a moment because he can't find a place to put his hands but she doesn't look up at him. It doesn't look like she's had any of the alcohol in the glass and he's so thankful for it. He reaches out with shaking fingers and slowly takes the cup from her hand and she lets it slide from her grasp willingly. He pushed it as far away from her as he could along the counter without moving before he planted his palms on the edge of the cool marble slab on either side of her knees.
"Kate…" he whispers, his voice hoarse as he leans towards her slightly. She doesn't respond, the only indication she heard him was the slight bob of her throat.
"You should be lying down."
She rolled her eyes slightly, and it's almost comforting except she's still lost in her own mind, the last smudges of her eyeliner smudged at the corner of her eyes, the capillaries like red lightning streaks across her eyes.
"It's not your fault," he whispers. He can tell by the twitch of her fingers in her lap that he's hit a nerve.
But it's really not her fault.
It's not her fault that three days ago the suspect caught them off guard at the initial sweep of the crime scene. It's not her fault that the man took a metal pipe and swung it hard across her hips when she walked through the door. The paramedics cleared her with a diagnosis of bruised hipbones. Gates put her on desk duty until she could walk without flinching.
It's not her fault that she started getting dizzy a few hours later. It's not her fault that she keeled over in front of the murder board, near tears as she told him to call an ambulance. It's not her fault she fainted in the middle of the precinct.
The doctors called it Ovarian Apoplexy. Apparently, she already had a small cyst on her ovary, and the blunt force of the pipe against her abdomen caused it to rupture and hemorrhage, and her other ovary was severely bruised. She needed to stay on bed rest once she was released from the hospital. She didn't miscarry they assured her, though the blood and the pain were supposedly similar. There was no baby there to start with.
And it's not her fault that 4 hours ago, the doctors told her that it was likely, due to the trauma, her age, her lifestyle, and her past medical history, there probably never would be.
That was when her eyes went missing.
She exhales loudly through her nose before she nods once.
Her silence is crushing him.
"Kate," he whispers, his voice borderline desperate, "please say something."
He watches as she squeezes her eyes shut, taking a deep breath through her mouth as she opens them slowly, her eye lashes fluttering as the air comes back out from her lungs just as quickly.
She bites her lip and he wishes she wouldn't. He wishes she would let whatever thoughts are tormenting her behind her beautiful, rain cloud eyes just tumble from her mouth so he could try to help her, because he doesn't know how to help her and it's chipping him away into useless pieces.
He loves her. He loves her and he's failing her.
She hiccups and he focuses on her, her lips pursed and her brow furrowed. She's twisting her fingers together tightly, the tips of her fingers white with the lack of circulation. She's rocking slightly from side to side like she's dizzy and he braces himself to catch her. He leaned in closer to her, his thumbs brushing slightly over her kneecaps.
"What is it, Kate?"
She purses her lips and lets out an uneven breath, her chest shaking underneath his sweatshirt before she looks up at him, catching his gaze and she breaks on a sob, her tears pouring out of her rain cloud eyes like a hurricane.
"I thought they'd have your eyes."
She can barely get the words out but she looks down after her admission, like she's embarrassed she's given away too much but he's already gathered her up in his arms, holding her together as her hands come up to fist his shirt, her body wracking violently against his own. Her sobs bounce off the walls of the loft, his indomitable detective a quivering mess in his arm and he tries but he can't help the tears that spill down his cheeks and land in her hair.
He thought they'd have hers.