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Panic! at the Crime Scene (1/1)
by somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
at March 24th, 2009 (05:12 pm)

Title: Panic! at the Crime Scene (1/1)
Author: SomewhereApart
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Characters: Eric/Calleigh
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: They're not mine. If they were, I'd live in a bigger apartment. Credit for all dialogue from the episode goes to someone lucky enough to be employed by the fine folks at Paramount
Summary: Did anyone else feel the kitchen scene last night was cut a bit too short? (Mid-ep scene filler for 7x19, Target Specific)




Eric heard the slam of the back gate and picked up his pace. Calleigh’s Hummer was the only car out front, and he couldn’t imagine why she’d be in the back of the house when she was supposed to be processing the kitchen. When he came in the front door and saw her standing there, flushed and bright-eyed, he knew something was wrong.

“Hey, I heard a gate slam. What happened?”

“The attacker came back,” she told him, and his stomach fell straight to his feet.

“What do you mean the attacker came back? Are you okay?” Eric questioned, following as Calleigh headed into the kitchen, hell-bent and on a mission.

“I need some gauze,” she insisted, bending to search through a cupboard. He was still stuck on ‘the attacker came back,’ which she seemed to have blown right past.

“Hey, Calleigh, talk to me – are you okay?” She was fluttering through cupboards like a hummingbird and her breath was a little uneven.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she dismissed, but he could tell from her voice that she was not exactly fine. “He put the bag over my head, he took my weapon.” She stood, nervous adrenaline pouring off her in waves as she made a move toward the other side of the kitchen. “He made me drop the evidence.”

Eric needed her to slow down for just a second, for both of them, so he caught her and held onto her arms, steadying her and looking her in the eye. “What do you need me to do?”

“I need you to get me some gauze, please,” she half-ordered, insistently, before blowing by him and rummaging through another low cupboard.

Knowing her well enough to know that she wouldn’t settle until she’d accomplished whatever it was her mind was stuck on, he decided it was better to help her than try to catch her again. He found her kit open on the counter, and peeked into it “Gauze is in here?”

“Yeah,” she answered absently, and by the time he’d fished it out and turned around she’d settled a bowl onto the counter top and scooped up the plastic bag from the floor. “Put it in here.”

“Alright, here.” Eric dropped the gauze into the bottom of the bowl as ordered, then watched as she shoved the bag in and sealed the bowl.

“I couldn’t see him, but I could smell him,” she explained, and the way she explained basic science to him a moment later was a good tip-off that she was more on-edge than she wanted to be. Reciting facts helped her recompartmentalize her brain when she was stressed; always had. “Scents are invisible to the eye, but they’re really just volatile chemicals that are floating through the air. Any leftover scent from the bag will be absorbed by the gauze, and then we can analyze that.”

“It sounds like a long shot,” he told her gently.

“It’s all we’ve got.”

They stood there for a second until he was certain she’d completed her task, and then he dared to reach out again, looping his fingers around her wrist and drawing her close. Her hands were shaking just slightly, he noticed, before she wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into him. “Take a deep breath, okay?” he urged, pressing a kiss to her forehead.

She nodded slightly, and he rubbed his hand over her back as she took in a slow, almost shaky breath, and let it out again. Her voice was small and muffled against his chest when she finally spoke, and though they weren’t unexpected, her words made his heart break a little. “I couldn’t breathe. Eric, I couldn’t breathe.”

Her whole body was trembling now, so he held her a little tighter and murmured that she was okay, to just keep breathing, she was alright now. The same smooth, soothing tones he used when she woke up gasping in the middle of the night, groping for her inhaler and – when she was particularly spooked – fumbling with the Xanax bottle until she could dry swallow a pill and settle back into his waiting arms.

The suffocation nightmares and accompanying anxiety attacks were new and painfully embarrassing for her, though they shouldn’t have been if you asked him. Anything that nearly kills you is bound to make you a bit of a basket case for a while. He’d had shooting dreams for months, waking up in cold sweats, phantom pain lancing through him from wherever the dream bullet had hit. Eric was fairly certain the fact that he’d been there was the only reason that she’d even allow this perceived weakness in front of him – well, that and it was awfully hard to pull one over on a guy who was sharing your bed more often than not. The shaking, and the scrabbling, and the gasping were hard to hide from someone rarely more than half a foot away.

She seemed to have calmed now, though, easing herself back enough for him to duck his head down and steal a quick kiss before asking her softly, “Are you okay?”

She nodded, stepping away completely, and he watched the way her fingers shook and fumbled as she fished something from her kit. Not okay yet. So he covered her hands with his, squeezed them gently.

“I’m fine,” she insisted, before he even got a chance to say anything.

“Calleigh-“

“I’m fine,” she insisted again, so he eased her close to him and gave her hands another squeeze.

“Tell me how you feel.”

“Fine.”

“No… tell me what you feel right now.”

Hesitantly, she let her eyes drop shut, her brows drawing together as she focused. “My heart is racing and… I feel a little dizzy and hot and-“

“You need your pills,” he told her gently, leaning in to press a kiss to her brow, but she pulled away before he got the chance.

No,” she told him firmly. “I don’t.”

“Calleigh, someone just tried to suffocate you, a panic attack is not-“

“I don’t need them to work,” she insisted again, shaking her hands slightly and rolling her shoulders. “I need them to get back to sleep sometimes, that’s all.”

Eric shook his head and caught her by the elbow, drawing her closer until he could grip her biceps and look her in the eye. Her pupils were dilated. “You need them when you have a panic attack, Calleigh.”

“I’m not having one,” she insisted, her voice small again, chin trembling suddenly as her eyes teared a little. “I don’t want to have one right now.”

“Baby, listen to me. Look at me,” he urged, one hand rising to thread through her hair and cup the back of her head. She locked her gaze on his, blinking rapidly until her eyes were dry again (because panic was nothing compared to the weakness of tears on the job). “It’s okay to feel this right now, and it’s okay to take something for it so you can focus again and do your job.”

She shook her head a little, gaze darting around as she opened and closed her mouth a little, searching for words that wouldn’t seem to come.

Finally, he simply told her, “I’m not going to take 'no.' Where are they?”

She wiggled sweaty hands out of his, digging to the bottom of her kit and pulling out a tiny plastic bag with three small pills in it. He nipped it from her fingers before she could wrestle it open, popping out a pill and handing it to her after she’d wrenched the tap on. She swallowed it down with a palmful of water, then turned embarrassed eyes on him and ordered softly, “Please don’t tell anyone this happened.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” Eric assured, wrapping his arms around her and letting her rest against his chest again. “We’ll just stay like this for a minute until you feel better.”

“We need to get the evidence back to the lab.”

“We will.” His lips fell in her hair again, again, again and he rocked her slowly from side to side.

Five minutes passed that way, then five more, another five, and he felt the tension slowly drain out of her body until she could have been asleep against him for how relaxed she was. When she picked her head up and stepped back, she was herself again. Strong, assertive Calleigh.

“Okay. Let’s go.” Her lips curved into a smile that wouldn’t have seemed forced if he hadn’t recently been talking her into popping benzos, and she quickly packed up her kit and snapped it shut.

She’d ended the moment, ended the issue, and even if he’d wanted to, Eric couldn’t have done anything other than go along with her. So he helped her crate the evidence, tailed her back to PD and dutifully said nothing for the rest of shift.

Comments

Posted by: Sabi (love_kate_walsh)
Posted at: March 24th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
{CSI: Miami} Calleigh - Bullet girl

Loved it as always. Great work.
I really did feel like something was missing there.

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 24th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

The scene just... ended. It seemed abrupt, no?

Posted by: Clo (citymusings)
Posted at: March 25th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)

Very nice.

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 25th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

Posted by: my_altered_life (my_altered_life)
Posted at: March 25th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)

Love this. I totally agree - they never explore Calleigh's feelings too thoroughly. I did enjoy seeing her rattled for a few minutes because, well, it would have been inhuman for her not to have been. But I think they cut it for time.

So I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed your analysis. And with the actual dialogue, I could truly "see" it in my head.

Although, I don't know if you've ever taken Xanax (or as we call them "little orange footballs"), but its strong enough to knock me out and I barely get loopy on Ambien, so I don't know how she could stand through work after taking one, lol.

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 25th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)

Thanks. :)

I'm guessing it depends on the dosage of Xanax, how much you get knocked on your ass by it. I had something stronger in there at first, and a friend with somewhat of a medical background recommended I downgrade it to Xanax. I know some people take it on a continual basis, and still function day-to-day, so I'm gonna guess there are dosages that still leave ya able to get stuff done.

Posted by: wild-eyed girl from freecloud (sunhawk)
Posted at: March 28th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
calleigh glow

How I miss this fic before?? What a great continuation of the end of the scene! :D

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 28th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)

I don't know, but thanks! hehe

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