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A Tour of the Heart (7/?)
by somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
at March 22nd, 2009 (06:23 pm)

Title: A Tour of the Heart (7/?)
Author: SomewhereApart
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Characters: Eric/Calleigh
Rating: PG13
Summary: They say if you really want to understand someone, you have to understand where they come from.




Catching up? Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six






Calleigh had spent a fair amount of time on tire swings growing up. There had been one in her back yard, so old that the rubber was beginning to crack. When it got bad enough that it started to pinch at the backs of her thighs, her dad had finally replaced it, grumbling something about rowdy boys and roughhousing. She’d spent so much time on her brand-new swing that she’d smelled like rubber for the better part of summer.


As she slipped her legs through the swing in Charlotte's back yard, lemonade clutched carefully in one hand, cell phone in the other, she wondered where that girl had gone. Not that she’d been particularly carefree as a child – it could be a challenge to be all hugs and butterflies in the Duquesne home – but she’d been freer. Lighter. More confident, maybe. With a sigh, she pushed the thought aside, bracing her toe against the ground to still the tire swing and balancing her glass precariously on top while she dialed Eric’s number.


She’d waited a while to call, trying to time it with lunch when he might have some free time. Sure enough, he picked up after the first ring.


“Hi,” he greeted, and she could hear the cautious surprise in his voice. “I thought you, uh... You said you weren’t going to call.”


“Yeah,” she murmured, steadying her glass and watching condensation bead down the surface and settle into the tire tread. “I changed my mind.”


“Why?” he asked, then seemed to think better of it. “You know what? It-“


“Charlotte,” she answered, ignoring his backtrack. “She seems to think I’m being selfish, and not myself.” Calleigh sighed heavily and offered what amounted to an admission that she’d been wrong: “She thinks some time off would do me good.”


Eric hesitated, silence hanging on his end of the line for a moment before he asked carefully, “What do you think?”


“I think you were right,” she told him, and she could hear him release a breath he must have been holding. “And I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that. I was… angry, and frustrated, and… not myself.”


“I know. You’ve been ‘not yourself’ for a while now.”


“Mmhmm.” She took a slow sip of lemonade, leaving it at that.


“I wish you’d talk to me,” he told her quietly, and she was really listening now, so the hurt in his voice came through again. Her heart ached a little for him, and she watched her toe swirl through the patch of dirt below the swing as she debated how to answer that.


“Not on the phone,” she finally answered, knowing it wasn’t what he wanted to hear, but if she was going to talk, she wanted it to be in person. “But we’ll talk when I get back.”


“Okay,” he accepted, and if it disappointed him, she couldn’t tell. “How long are you staying?”


“I don’t know,” Calleigh admitted, sipping from her glass again. “My Gran willed me her house, so I have a lot to go through, but… it’s not as if…” Taking a deep breath, Calleigh swallowed against a bubble of grief, her voice a little wobbly when she spoke again. “It’s not going anywhere.”


“You love that house,” he murmured, and she noticed his voice had gone low and soothing, the way it always did when she was upset and he was trying to comfort her. Of course usually that also involved strong arms holding her, and his smell all around her, and his lips on her brow or in her hair. The stab of loneliness and longing that hit her was startling in its intensity, and it forced words up and out of her before she could help them.


“I miss you so much. I wish you were here.”


“I can come,” he offered immediately, without hesitation, and somehow his unfailing devotion – even in the face of her… intolerableness lately – calmed her heart and filled the empty places just a little.


“IAB,” was all she told him.


“You’ve been gone for a few days, Calleigh,” he assured. “It won’t look like we’re on the same vacation. I’ll take the rest of the week off; we can both come back on Monday. It’ll look normal.”


“It won’t,” she insisted softly, though without any of the combative heat she’d had in her kitchen a few nights earlier. “I’ll just come home… tomorrow, maybe the day after.”


“Calleigh…” he pleaded gently. “Take the vacation. You need it. We need it. Let me come to you. I’ll help you go through everything.”


She had a feeling he didn’t just mean the boxes in the attic or the photo albums on the bookshelves, and she found herself teary again, her chin quivering. “I’d really like that,” she said quietly, shakily, before continuing, “But I still don’t want us to get-“


“I’ll handle it,” he interrupted, insisting, “Let me talk to H, okay? We’ll work it out. You need the time, and I need to be there. I want to see you, and I want to meet your family.”


She thought of Clara, of the missed opportunities, and found herself nodding. “Okay,” she relented, finally. “Can you come tomorrow?”


“Even if I have to drive it, I’ll be there tomorrow,” he promised, and she felt a slow smile spread across her face.


“Jackson is closest, but you’ll have to connect.”


“I’ll work it out,” he assured, and she wished she could see him, wished she could touch him right now. “I’ll call you later with the details, okay?”


“Okay. Eric?”


“Yeah?”


“I love you.”


Calleigh could almost hear the grin in his voice when he answered, “I love you too. I have to get back to work, but I’ll see you tomorrow. I promise.”


“Alright,” she answered and as they said their goodbyes and hung up, she caught sight of Charlotte watching her from the back porch.


“You ready for lunch?” she called, lemonade pitcher in hand again, and Calleigh had a sneaking suspicion that her sister had been debating whether to saunter out and offer a refill as a cover for eavesdropping.


“Be right in,” she answered with an amused roll of her eyes.


As Charlotte disappeared into the house again, Calleigh managed to disentangle herself from her tire swing, realizing as she did that she felt better. Freer. Lighter. Good.


And suddenly starving.


.

“When you figure out
Love is all that matters after all,
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small”


-- “So Small”
Carrie Underwood


Comments

Posted by: Sabi (love_kate_walsh)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
{CSI: Miami} Eric - Camera

Such a great update. YAY Eric is coming. Really great work. You just made my day with this.

Love the song you were using.

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
sweet tea

Thanks! Glad ya liked it!

Edited at 2009-03-22 10:38 pm (UTC)

Posted by: my_altered_life (my_altered_life)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)

Yay! Sexytimes, commence!

Did you enjoy your time off? :)

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2009 03:53 am (UTC)
sweet tea

I'm actually still off! I just realized that I had posted this on Friday on ff.net and forgot to post it here. Quick copy & paste during an afternoon lull!

And thanks! Glad ya liked it!

Posted by: my_altered_life (my_altered_life)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)

Oh, thats cool. Hope you're enjoying yourself!

Posted by: Clo (citymusings)
Posted at: March 24th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)

Yay! Eric will make it work. :)

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 24th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
sweet tea

Yup! :)

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