?

Log in

somewhereapart [userpic]
A Tour of the Heart (9/?)
by somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
at March 29th, 2009 (12:15 am)

Title: A Tour of the Heart (9/?)
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 | Chapter Seven | Chapter Eight





Calleigh wasn’t sure how long it took to cry herself out. All she knew was that when the tears finally stopped, her head felt blocked up and her eyes were sore, tear tracks itching along her cheeks. Her heart felt a little better though, now that he was here, now that his smell was all around her, and one of his palms was coasting up and down along her spine to soothe her. His lips pressed gentle kisses along her brow, over and over, even after the tears had subsided and silence hung thicker than the humidity in the air.

He cut through it first, asking her quietly if she felt better. She nodded and curled closer to him, tucking her head beneath his chin and breathing in the scent of sweat and sex and lavender. “Yeah,” she rasped, voice rough from tears. “Thank you for holding me.” She wasn’t sure where it had come from, but once the words were out, she recognized the truth of them. She was so, so grateful to be able to cry with his arms around her, with his soothing voice in her ear. It cut the grief and loneliness just a little.

It took her a moment to realize that he hadn’t responded, that his body had gone a little tense. She shifted until she could look up at him and found him frowning slightly, wearing that expression that she knew meant he was debating telling her something that might start an argument. Her heart ached when she realized just how easily recognizable that face had become. “What?” she asked gently, letting one of her hands rise up to cup his cheek, her thumb running along his jaw.

“I’m your boyfriend,” he told her slowly. “You shouldn’t have to thank me for being there for you. That’s what I should do. And I’d do it, all the time, if you’d let me. All you ever had to do was ask, and I’d be there.” She didn’t know what to say to that, didn’t know how to respond to the curl of guilt in her belly, so she said nothing. “You should have called me. As soon as your dad called, you should have called me. You should have known that no matter what happened between us, I’d be here. I’d get on that plane with you and fly here no matter how angry I was, or how angry you were.”

“I was mad,” she answered quietly. “It all happened so fast, and I was still mad. By the time I wasn’t mad, I was already here.”

“You didn’t call me all weekend.” She could tell by the shift of his jaw, the way he averted his eyes, that she had hurt him, deeply. “You shut me out, completely. You’ve been doing that a lot lately.”

She’d never been more sure that she was wrong, that she should have just sucked it up and called him after her dad called her, that he’d been right about what she needed and she’d been… bitchy and moody. Just like he’d said. She’d been hurtful. And because she’d never been afraid of an apology when she knew she was in the wrong, she pressed her lips softly to his, then murmured to him, “Eric… I’m sorry I’ve been so awful lately.”

“All I want is for you to feel better.” His fingers skimmed her spine again, made her shiver. “I just want you to feel like yourself again. I want you to stop shutting me out, and talk to me.”

The hurt in his voice was more pronounced without the frustration that had been strangling it for weeks. Or maybe she was just finally listening beyond her own self. With a sigh, she banded her arm around his ribs, held him tight, and fessed up. “I’ve been having trouble sleeping.”

“I know.” His lips brushed her brow again. “I just don’t know why.”

She hesitated, felt her pulse begin to knock a little harder in her chest, then told him, “I do.”

“Tell me?” he asked softly, lips brushing against her skin, nuzzling against hair that was still a little damp.

“Do you remember the triple in the Gables?” she asked quietly, and he made a soft sound of affirmation.

“Of course. How could I forget?”

That was an understatement. A mother, father, and eight-year-old daughter, hacked to death with a hatchet in their own home, and not found for three days. Unforgettable was the least one could say. Horrific was more apt. “There was so much blood.” Her voice sounded small, even to her, and it wasn’t entirely steady.

“I know. I remember.”

“When I walked in…” She trailed off, closed her eyes, and saw the whole scene again in her head, her stomach rolling at the memory. “When I walked in, just for a second, the father looked like you. Just like you.”

She felt the air deflate out of him, and it comforted her to know that there was someone out there who knew what would rock her without her even having to get it all out. “Oh, Calleigh,” he breathed, all sympathy, all comfort, ducking his head to press a quick kiss to her lips.

She kissed him back, then rested her forehead against his as she swallowed down the turbulent anxiety of the memory, continuing, “It was just for a second, just from that angle, but… God, Eric… And then you walked in, and you were fine, you were you, and we processed the scene. And he really looked nothing like you from head on. But… I couldn’t shake it.”

“It kept you up,” he deduced, a flatness to his voice that she knew only crept in when he felt helpless in the face of a problem. She hated that the problem was her this time, hated even more that she had a feeling it was her unwillingness to confide during all those nights they spent together that hurt him the most. And she was only just beginning.

“You had your nieces that weekend,” she reminded, running her palm up to grip behind his shoulder. “So I slept at home, and I had this dream…” She swallowed, closed her eyes, pressed herself closer. “I had this dream that it was you. The body. That I walked in the room again, and it was really you. And I woke up, scared, cold sweat. Couldn’t get back to sleep all night. I kept seeing it when I closed my eyes. I was so tired… I tried to take a nap that afternoon, but I had the dream again. And again that night, and… I just couldn’t shake it.”

“Calleigh,” he murmured again, like he couldn’t think of anything else to say to her. Or maybe he was just giving her time to get it all out; she wasn’t sure.

“Every night for a week. And then I just… couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t relax enough to get to sleep. I knew it was coming.” She pressed a kiss to his shoulder, his jaw, brought her hand back around to stroke her fingers over his hair. “My biggest fear is losing you,” she admitted, dutifully ignoring the way her voice trembled, the tears that had welled in her eyes. “And I kept losing you. Every night.”

“No. You didn’t. I’m right here.” Eric looped his fingers around her wrist and tugged her hand down, tucking it between their bodies before wrapping both arms around her and holding her tight. “See?”

She felt a few tears spill over again, and was actually surprised that she had anything left to cry at this point. But she nodded, tucked her head underneath his chin and breathed him in.

“Can I ask you a question?” he asked, after a minute.

“Mmhmm.”

“If you were afraid of losing me, why did you push me away?”

It was a question Calleigh had spent some time trying to answer for herself over the past twenty-four hours, so she had an answer for him without having to think too long. “It’s not so much losing you,” she clarified slowly, wiggling away just slightly until she could look him in the eye again. “I think if I left you, or you left me, if this didn’t work out, I could probably recover. I mean, it would be awful… but I think I would be able to move on. Eventually. But I’m terrified that something will take you away from me. An accident, or a shooting, or…” She shook her head, shifted onto her back and wove one of her hands with his, thumb skating lazily over his fingers. “Something out of our control. And that day… it was just so vivid. I mean, even when you were shot, I didn’t see you until after you were out of surgery and bandaged. The sight of you covered in blood, I can’t… I just can’t.”

“You could have told me,” Eric assured, separating their fingers long enough to trace his fingertips in swirling patterns along her belly, where her skin was still dewy with sweat.

She shook her head, tried to voice the riot of emotions she had only just allowed herself to begin processing. “No. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to admit that the job had gotten to me. I’ve been doing this for years; I love my job. I was afraid if I said something, then… it would be like I couldn’t handle it? Like maybe I’m not cut out for this anymore? And I don’t think that’s true.”

“It was one case,” he assured, with a shake of his head, fingers skimming up along her ribcage now in a caress that tickled almost as much as it comforted. She resisted the urge to squirm, forcing herself to focus instead on the warmth of his skin against hers.

“There have been more gruesome cases. Things that have kept me awake for a night or two. But nothing like this. I was afraid to sleep. And I was anxious, all the time, especially when you weren’t around.” She tilted her head to rest against him, sighing softly. “It shouldn’t be like this.”

“You got spooked,” he soothed, pressing kisses into her hair again. “Your mind played a trick on you, and you got spooked. That’s all.”

“But it could happen,” she whispered quietly, lifting her hand to trail her fingers over his forearm.

“We’re CSIs, Calleigh. We know better than anyone that it can always happen. There are a million ways to go every second.” He shifted then, settled his body over hers again and took her mouth in a slow, reassuring kiss. “And I know you won’t want to hear this,” Eric began, easing away as the kiss broke. “But you should talk to someone about it. And not just me. A therapist. I know you hate them, but you should talk to someone. At the very least, they might be able to give you something to help you sleep.”

Calleigh wanted to argue – it was knee-jerk – but she’d been so unruly for the past few weeks that she decided to give him this one. “Okay,” she assented, nodding slightly as she threaded her arms around his waist. “When we get back, I’ll look into it.”

He smiled at her then, one of those genuine, warm smiles he was so good at, then gave her another soft kiss before murmuring, “Thank you. But let’s not worry about it now. We’re on vacation.” His mouth fell on hers in another brief kiss. “Nothing is going to happen to me here.” Another. “So let’s not worry about it anymore.”

It was a suggestion that Calleigh was more than happy to go along with, so she nodded and agreed, giving him a gentle squeeze.

“But promise me something.”

“What?”

“In the future, talk to me before you yell at me, okay? I can’t stand being shut out of your problems, especially when your problems involve us.”

“I promise,” she swore, before adding, “That was why, by the way. Why I got so mad when you said I should go on vacation. I knew we couldn’t go together, not without tipping off IAB, and I was afraid to leave you. I was afraid something would happen to you and I wouldn’t be there. And I know its silly but-“

He silenced her with another kiss, then shook his head. “I didn’t need to stay on your couch for a week after you got out of the hospital. You were fine. But I was afraid if I left, you’d choke, and nobody would be there. That I wouldn’t be there for you, and I’d lose you before I even really had you.”

Calleigh didn’t know quite what to say. She’d forgotten, somewhat, that he’d stayed so long, that he’d needed to. He’d been where she was now, only the imminent peril had been a lot more… imminent. “I should have just told you.”

“Yeah,” he agreed, offering her a smile and threading his fingers into her hair. “You should have. But you will next time, right?”

Nodding, she promised, then sealed the promise again with a kiss.

“Good.” His lips found her chin, worked their way along her jaw. “Now. I am going to get all sweaty with you again.” His lips found that soft spot behind her ear, the one that made her shiver. “And then we’re going to shower again.” Teeth caught her earlobe and suddenly her pulse was jumping for a reason that had nothing to do with fearful confessions. “And then, you are going to show me this house.”

“Sounds like a plan,” she whispered, urging his mouth back to hers and losing herself in a wet, eager kiss. It didn’t go unnoticed that her constant, dull anxiety had eased, or that the weight she’d been carrying had finally been lifted. For the first time in weeks, she felt steady, and safe, and right.




“Before you fall asleep,
Before you drift away
To fight those demons
Waiting for you in your dreams…
…Fall into me.
My arms are opened wide,
And you don’t have to say a word.
‘Cause I already see that it’s hard,
And you’re scared,
And you’re tired,
And it hurts.
And I wanna be the one you reach for first.”

--“Fall Into Me”
Sugarland

Comments

Posted by: my_altered_life (my_altered_life)
Posted at: March 30th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)

Aww. Yay open and honest Calleigh!

Question. Did you make up the case she was referring to, or am I forgetting one? It sounds vaguely familiar...was it this season? I'm lost, obviously, lol.

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 30th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
sweet tea

Thanks!

And I made it up, but I'm sure there's probably been a similar case at some point. Or combined cases maybe.

Posted by: my_altered_life (my_altered_life)
Posted at: March 30th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)

Yea, and I remember a similar case but I was like...."They would have made a huge fuss over it looking like Eric if this was a real case from an episode..." So I was curious. Good enough that you had me fooled though, so good job!

Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 30th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
sweet tea

hehe Thanks!

4 Read Comments