DISCLAIMER: CSI and CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is all Ariestess' fault! Sofia and Calleigh won't stop talking to me now. Ack!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Home for Christmas
Christmas was never a huge deal for me. At least that's what I would tell people. I'm a bit of a loner and I usually like it that way, but over the holidays it sometimes becomes painfully obvious to me that I'm missing something in my life. Or more precisely, missing someone in my life.
I thought for the longest time that Sara Sidle was that someone. For the last few years in Vegas, I would work around her schedule and we would try to spend time together over the holidays. And it would be nice as long as it lasted but work always seemed to come first for her. I can respect and understand that, after all I would tell myself, I can be just as driven. I wonder now though if it was so she could spend more time with Grissom.
That's an unkind thought and I know it. Bitter much, Curtis? I always thought her infatuation with Grissom would pass and we were the real deal. I figured if I was patient Sara would figure out what she really wanted and one day she would finally be all mine.
God, what a sap I was. Love will do that to you I guess.
I look up Calleigh Duquesne saunters out of my kitchen, two mugs in her hand, humming Here Comes Santa Claus to herself. My heart clenches slightly and I can't help the smile on my face. Yes, my move to Miami has been good for me in so many ways.
"Trust me, you're gonna love this." Calleigh handed me a steaming mug. It smelled of apples and cinnamon and took me back to my childhood and home, sharing a big piece of fresh baked pie and an ice cold glass of milk while sitting on my Dad's knee. I take a sip of the mulled apple wine smiling back up at her, and it hits me.
I like this.
I like this a lot.
Watching Charlie Brown Christmas on TV together, sipping her secret recipe for mulled apple wine, getting lost in her soft green eyes, watching as they crinkle in the corners as she smiles back. This really is my new life and Calleigh is a big part of that.
As if sensing my mood swing, Calleigh sinks onto the cushions and slips beside me, snuggling on the leather couch together. The woman has been so patient with me, being my friend long before we took the next step to becoming lovers. My heart swells just thinking about it.
"You are thinking too much again darlin'. Stop it." Calleigh's mouth descends before I can protest my innocence. Soft and sweet, her kisses are like melted chocolate and I can't resist. Pulling away finally she swats at my wandering hand, which had started a slow path down her curves.
"We are decorating your tree, stop trying to distract me." Calleigh lifts an eyebrow and gives me her patented Be Good or Else Look. My heart does another little flip flop and I just give her a saucy grin.
The small artificial tree had been packed away in my condo's storage room in the basement of the complex. When Calleigh saw it a few weeks back when we went hunting for my old pair of roller blades she made me promise to put it up this year. I can't say no to the woman and she knows it, damn it.
The tree is on a bit of a lean at the moment. It always did tend to tilt to the right. After an exhaustive hunt for the one blown light to get them working again, we had strung the small twinkle lights on the tree together. Then while Calleigh had been in the kitchen working on the mulled wine, I had uncovered and put the angel on top of the tree. It had been my grandmother's, I forgot how much I love it until I had it up on the tree in all its glory.
Calleigh heads over to the tattered box marked Xmas Decorations and pulls out a box with delicate glass balls. Gold, red, green, all of them faded with time, the silver tops precariously attached to the glass, loops of old thick sewing thread knotted over and over to keep them from coming loose. Some had indents of star bursts in silver, or stripes in gold around their middles, with only the occasional scratch in the paint from an overly thrilled cat from back in the day.
"Lord Sofia, these are gorgeous." One of my mother's old golden balls dangles from Calleigh's long fingers as she holds it up, the twinkle lights from the tree reflecting through the small glass ornament.
"Yeah, they're from the '50s. We had them for years on our Christmas tree when I was a kid. I think a few have broken in the box over the years so watch your fingers for glass shards." I watch her wander over to the tree and start to place the small balls evenly around. I pull some golden garland strands out of the bag of new stuff we bought this year and start draping it on the tree. I swear I am avoiding the mall again at all costs or someone may end up shot.
It doesn't take long and we're done, snuggling stretched out on the couch together with all the lights out except for the finished tree sparkling and twinkling away in the corner. Calleigh is in my arms, her back resting snug against my chest, my legs on either side of hers. The overwhelming pleasure and comfort of this moment washes over me and I am filled to overflowing.
"I love you Calleigh."
It just came out of me, as simple as breathing, like it was the most natural thing in the world. And I know in my bones that it's the truth. Calleigh has grown still in my arms. I wonder if I've scared her, said too much, too soon. She turns in my embrace to look up at me and I see the large glistening eyes and huge smile plastered on her face matched I'm sure by my own goofy grin.
"I love you too." She whispers before placing the softest kiss on my lips. Content, she turns back and pulls at the light throw on the back of the couch dragging it across our legs and we snuggle together, staring at our tree, finishing our mulled wine.
I close my eyes, breathing her in and I know I've come home.
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