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A Tour of the Heart (5/?)
by somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
at March 14th, 2009 (10:19 pm)

Title: A Tour of the Heart (5/?)
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

Calleigh lay awake in the full-sized bed that had seemed so huge when she was a girl, less so now that she regularly slept in a queen. The air conditioning in Gran’s old house – Calleigh’s house now, she was still trying to wrap her head around that – was on its last leg, running only in fits and starts. It was out right now, and the oppressive Louisiana heat was leaking in through her window, the fan aimed at her bed stirring the warm air just enough to cool the sweat dewed on her skin. And, apparently, enough to disturb the brown tabby cat currently curled on the pillow next to her in an attempt to escape the fur-ruffling breeze.

“Sorry, Jasper,” she murmured, lifting heavy fingers to scratch between his shoulders and work up a purr. “But it’s hot.”

For a brief moment, she wondered what he would do now that Clara was gone, but then she remembered that it had been quite a while since her Gran had lived in this old house, and he’d made his way somehow. It was easy to forget that the house had been mostly vacant for much of the last year when everything was still in its place, when the lawn was still kept trim and the garden weeded, when the end tables had all been dusted and the floors washed.

But that was Gran. Just because she wasn’t living in the house didn’t mean it shouldn’t be kept up. No, ma’am, your home is your face to the world, whether you’re living in it or not. Calleigh thought of her own carefully decorated apartment – that Clara had never seen – and felt a sudden well of grief. Tears sprung to her eyes, unbidden but not entirely unwelcome. Not here, in the dark, alone. She did her best crying like this – in the hours between midnight and dawn, just her and a cat. Usually it was Cubano who served as her confidante, but tonight Jasper would have to do.

She turned onto her side, scratched behind his ears. “What am I supposed to do with this place?” she murmured, voice thick with tears. “She wanted me to have it, but I can’t keep it up. Well… I can, but… I can’t enjoy it. I can’t live in it. I could rent it out, so you have someone to keep you company, but… It’s Gran’s house. It’s my house. I don’t want strangers in my house, moving things around, changing things.”

Jasper offered no advice, no answers. He just curled into a tighter ball and purred louder.

With a heavy sigh, she rolled onto her belly, tugging her tank top up so the fan could work its meager breeze over her sweat-slicked back. She lay there for a while, listened to the steady whirr of the fan, the rhythmic chirping of bugs outside, Jasper’s low rumble. She had a moment of overwhelming déjà vu – the summer she turned thirteen, spending weeks with Gran to escape the now-constant fights between her parents. She’d been kissed quite properly that evening, sloppy adolescent tongue and all, and lay awake for hours, giddy and excited, while the cat – Gregory then – had purred his congratulations.

The flash of memory, so long stored, brought with it a rush of sensation. The scents of her grandmother’s perfume, of the blooming rose her grandfather had left on her night table, of her own strawberry lip gloss. The feel of the quilted pillowcase beneath her cheek. Gregory’s so-soft fur.

Sam Harrison’s lips on hers, wet and unsure, and fumbling, his teeth scraping her lip on accident. She’d thought it was wonderful at the time. Wonderful and… a little slimy. She knew better now. Knew better what it felt like to be thoroughly and skillfully kissed. Just wet enough, just confident enough, a nip of teeth – intentional now.

She felt another pang of loss, but not for Clara this time. For Eric. She hadn’t truly missed him until just now, hadn’t let herself. But all of a sudden, she wished he were there, wished Jasper was edged out to slink off for a sofa or an empty bed because another hot body had taken his spot. Strong arms, smooth skin, that low bedroom voice that calmed and riled her simultaneously. After the funeral, she’d decided she would wait to talk to him, wait to call. She’d be home soon enough, and they could work things out then, in person. It was never right over the phone.

But she missed him. Missed the way he took up space, the way he knew what she needed even when she didn’t. The thought crossed her mind before she could help it, followed by a stab of dread that maybe he’d been right, and she’d have to grovel. Maybe. She didn’t know. It didn’t feel like he was right, but at this point, she didn’t know what she felt about much of anything. She hadn’t had time to sort it all out for herself yet. Too focused on her family, on funeral arrangements, on keeping the peace between Bryan and Dean while discouraging peace between her dad and the bottle. She’d allotted the flight home for sorting out what had happened with Eric.

If she had to make excuses later, she’d blame the dark, the empty house, the loneliness, and that relentless squirm of anxiety over his welfare for the way she rolled and reached for her cell phone, blinking against the harsh brightness of the screen as she rolled back to his last text: “Call when you can. I love you. I hope you’re doing okay.”

Her fingers moved without thought, clicking out a response, a peace offering: “I’m not ready to talk yet. But I love you too. And I’m alright.”

The phone buzzed in her hand before she could put it down. Another text, from him: “Okay. I’m here if you need.”

She felt tears spring to her eyes again, her chin quivering, and when the phone vibrated with another message – “I’m worried about you.” – she gave into the impulse and pressed “TALK.”

He picked up immediately. “Hey.”

“Tell me you love me,” she whispered, hoping that keeping her voice low would mask the tears.

“I love you, Calleigh.” He sounded sleepy, but that was no surprise considering the time.

“Thank you. I just needed… I needed to hear that. And now I need to go.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m sad,” she admitted quietly.

“I wish I-“

“I have to go,” Calleigh interrupted. She didn’t want this to turn into a long, drawn-out talk. Not tonight. “I can’t… I can’t do this conversation right now.”


“Please. Not tonight.”

“Calleigh, please don’t shut me out,” he asked her evenly.

“Eric, I spent the day at a funeral, it’s late, I’m tired. I just… needed to hear your voice.”

“Will you call me tomorrow?”

She didn’t answer right away, didn’t like the idea of making up over the phone, or of, God forbid, having him draw her out the way he did so well and have her end up crying on his shoulder – or not, on account of his shoulder being three states away.


“I don’t want to do this over the phone,” she told him softly. “I’ll be home soon, okay?”

It was his turn to hesitate before finally sighing, “Okay,” and telling her he loved her again.

“I love you too,” she breathed, and something about saying it, about hearing it, made her feel more steady, more whole. “Goodnight.”


She ended the call, set her phone carefully aside again, then pressed her face into the pillow and took a slow, deep breath. The bed still felt too empty, too lonely, but she would manage. She didn’t really have any other option at the moment.

“Maybe I was much too selfish,
But baby you're still on my mind.
Now I'm grown and all alone,
And wishing I was with you tonight.”

The Wreckers


Posted by: somewhereapart (somewhereapart)
Posted at: March 15th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
sweet tea

haha Well, I'm glad you're allowing me to yank your emotional strings a bit. I hope you'll find the payoff worth it!

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