DISCLAIMER: CSI Miami and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By sinjenkai


Part 2

Waking up in an empty bed was not the way that Natalia liked to start the day. Getting up, she went into the bathroom to find it empty also. She took care of her morning needs and then went out into the kitchen to find Calleigh putting some fruit into a blender.

"Morning Sunshine."

Looking over to answer her, Calleigh placed the lid atop the blender and hit the blend button. The lid wasn't quite secure enough so juice and fruit sprayed all over Calleigh and the counter.

Covering her mouth, Natalia's body shook with suppressed laughter.

Calleigh had juice dripping down her face and hair and she gave a short laugh as she blew a drop off of the tip of her nose.

"This is what I get for wanting fresh juice."

Natalia walked over to her with a rag in hand. She started to wipe off Calleigh's face, but instead leaned forward and licked, then sucked gently on her chin.

"Hmmm, orange juice, strawberries and pineapple. Pretty good, but there is something that I just can't place."

Leaning forward once again, Natalia put her lips on the side of Calleigh's mouth.

"I taste a bit of honey, but there's still something."

Running her tongue along Calleigh's bottom lip, Natalia then gently drew it in and sucked on it.

Calleigh moaned, pulling Natalia closer so that she could slide a thigh between her legs, causing Natalia to jerk her hips.

Pulling back a bit, Natalia looked down at her wife to see that her eyes were closed and her lips were parted. As she watched, Natalia saw Calleigh's tongue peek out. Quickly she leaned down to draw the curious tongue into her own mouth, reveling in the taste that was uniquely Calleigh.

Moaning softly, Calleigh went to slide her hands up under Natalia's nightshirt, but she noticed how sticky her hands were.

Pulling away, Calleigh cleared her throat. "I'm gonna get you all sticky."

"Too late. Already there, but I did figure out the other flavor."

"Really? What is it?"

Pulling Calleigh back, Natalia captured her lips once more in a hard kiss, taking her time to plunder Calleigh's warmth. Breaking away only when they needed to breathe, Natalia finally answered. "It's you. Sometimes I feel like I can taste you. Your kisses are so sweet, they're addictive."

"Darlin', you say the sweetest things."

"Thank you, but you need to go get cleaned up. I'll clean up in here and be right in to get ready."

Calleigh laughed. "Ok, let me go take a quick shower. I'll save you some hot water."

Natalia began to wipe down the counters and saved as much of the juice mixture as she could. Putting everything away, she went to join Calleigh in the bathroom.

Calleigh was just drying off when Natalia walked in. Motioning to the still running water, Calleigh stopped long enough to enjoy the show of Natalia disrobing.

"See anything that you like?"

"Actually no. I see someone I'm in love with."

Walking over to Calleigh, Natalia threaded her hands in Calleigh's damp hair, pulling her close for a kiss.

"And I'm in love with you right back."

Giving Calleigh another kiss, Natalia let her go and got into the shower. She lathered up her body sponge and began to bathe. Looking through the shower curtain, Natalia saw that Calleigh had stopped dressing and was watching her. Softly Natalia told Calleigh that she had better get dressed while she finished bathing. Rinsing off, she got out, dried off and began to get ready for work.

Calleigh was already dressed in black jeans, boots and short sleeve oxford shirt. She walked into the bedroom with the remainder of the juice to find Natalia sliding on a pair of tan khaki pants with a cream pullover.

"Want some?" She asked, holding out the juice glass.

"Juice, no. You, always."

Laughing, Calleigh put down the glass and went over to Natalia. Reaching behind Natalia's back, Calleigh started tucking in Natalia's shirt.

Laying her arms across Calleigh's shoulders, Natalia spoke low into Calleigh's ear.

"I'm not used to you helping me dress, but it does have it's advantages."

"Yes, it does."

Placing her lips on a pulse point on the side of Natalia's neck, Calleigh gently sucked, while sliding her hands to cup Natalia's butt, pulling Natalia closer to stand between her legs.

"There are days that I wish we just didn't have to go to work. Wouldn't mind it at all if we could stay home and lie out by the pool."

"I know, but you would miss playing with your guns too much."

Rising up to place a gentle kiss on the corner of Natalia's mouth, Calleigh whispered.

"Maybe, but I would get to play with you and that more fun than guns any day."

"Nice to know that I rate higher than your guns." Natalia smiled. "You about ready to go?"

Giving a heavy sigh, Calleigh laid her head against Natalia's chest, listening to her soft heartbeat for a moment before pulling away.

"Yeah, if we must, let's get it over with."

Natalia took Calleigh's hand and they walked together into the kitchen where they each took off their rings, placing them in the drawer.

Turning to Calleigh once more, Natalia drew her into her arms and leaned in for one last kiss. Tongues gently glided over one another and soft moans filled the air for a few brief moments.

Backing away a breaths space, Calleigh looked up into a pair a very warm chocolate eyes.

"You have a good day darlin'. Don't try and do too much. I'm still a bit worried about your back."

"Don't worry about me babe. I'll be careful. You have a good day too. Just remember that I love you."

"A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. I love you too."

And with that, they each got into their cars and drove to work.

Calleigh arrived at work before Natalia this time as Natalia went to pick up breakfast. Parking her car, Calleigh got out and briskly walked inside the building, smiling at the desk officer. Walking back towards ballistics, Calleigh was met by Eric.

"Hey, we finally got an address off of the papers from yesterday. Come on, we're heading out there now."

"Where's Stetler? I don't need him pissed because I didn't try and find him."

Eric turned to head to the vehicles. "Horatio sent him to wait for you at your Hummer. Hurry up."

Turning on her heel, Calleigh found a phone and quickly called the morgue.

"Alexx, would you please tell Natalia that we gone out to a location and I'll call her when I get back… Ok, thanks."

Hanging up, Calleigh went and put her personal items in her locker, then hurried out to her vehicle.

Walking up to the Hummer, Calleigh was met by a very impatient Rick Stetler.

"I thought that maybe you had gone on another vacation. Can we get a move on?"

Biting back the retort that she was about to fling out, Calleigh just walked around to the drivers' side, opened the door and got in. Starting up the big vehicle, Calleigh looked through the front window at Stetler.

He stood there for a moment like he was expecting her to say something, but when she didn't, Rick just threw up his hands and got inside.

They sat there in silence for a moment, waiting for Horatio, Eric and the additional officers that they were taking along. Calleigh was rather surprised to see the SWAT van in line to follow them out. As she watched, Calleigh could have sworn that she saw Ryan climb into the back of that van. Shaking her head, she decided that she was mistaken.

After a few minutes, they were on the road. The ride was made in silence as Calleigh made no effort to start a conversation with Stetler and every time that he tried, he wasn't answered.

All that Calleigh would say was, "I've already answered all the questions that Internal Affairs had. Read the report."

After forty minutes they arrived at their destination in the middle of the everglades. The building looked like it used to be a barn, but then had some additions built on. The caravan stopped about a half a mile away so that their approach would be silent.

Most everyone gathered around Horatio to receive their instructions.

"Eric, you and I will go in through the front while Calleigh and Rick go to the right and Frank and these officers will go to the left. I want everyone on channel eight on the radios and I want the earpieces in. I don't want any noise coming from anyone unless absolutely necessary."

Turning to Rick, Horatio stepped closer to him and in a low voice stated. "You do exactly what Calleigh says. Make no mistake my friend, if you do one thing wrong, you will be held accountable."

"Don't threaten me, Horatio."

"Take it as you will, Rick."

And with that, everyone went off to their assigned starting points. Everyone had their guns drawn and moving as quietly as possible.

The brush was a bit dense on the side where Calleigh was trying to go through. Looking around, she saw that Rick was headed toward a slightly easier path, more to the rear of the building. She also saw that if he continued on that path, he would be able to seen from one of the windows.

Speaking in a low voice, Calleigh called out to him.

"Get over here. You'll be seen from there."

He waved her off and continued, leaving Calleigh no choice, but to back him up. As she followed in his wake, Calleigh noticed something out of the ordinary. About five feet in front of Rick was a fallen log and barely an inch above that she could see a wire.

"Freeze, Rick. Don't take another step. There's a tr....."

Before she could say anything further, Rick had already tried to cross the log and pulled the wire.

Calleigh had barely enough time to key up her radio and yell, "Bomb!", before the explosions started. The last thing that she saw was Rick diving behind a large cypress tree and a huge ball of fire and debris headed her way.

Barely having time to register Calleigh's warning in his ear, Horatio was surprised by the explosion. He began to shout instructions to Eric as gunfire erupted from the barn.

It seemed to be concentrated at the back and right side of the structure. Rick's voice came through his ear piece.

"Someone help. I'm pinned down here."

"Stay down. We're on our way."

SWAT members gathered near the main entrance, broke down the door and swarmed inside. Quickly moving through the building, they were met by sporadic gunfire.

Moving along a hallway, Horatio quickly peered around a doorway to see a lone gunman firing out a window.

Shielding himself with the door jam, Horatio called out. "Drop the gun."

Slowly the perp turned his head to look at Horatio and Horatio saw that he was barely out of his teens.

"Son, put down the gun. Don't make a mistake that may cost you your life. Be smart now."

"The young man hesitated a moment before putting down the gun and stepping away.

Calling out, Horatio said, "Eric, cuff him and get him outside as quickly as possible. I need to find Calleigh and Rick."

Staying long enough to see that Eric had everything in control, Horatio then continued down the hallway to an outside door.

The gunshots had tapered off as other suspects were rounded up. SWAT was going through each room and around the out side of the building clearing up any further explosives that might be around. The entire back right of the building was in shambles from the blast, a gaping hole to the inside was testament to the force of the blast. Pieces of wood, steel and tin roofing covered a wide area of ground. The smell of burnt wood and explosive filled the air and it even seemed that the air was heavier in that area.

Horatio made his way to where Stetler was now standing, not looking any worse for wear other than he had some black smudges on his face and clothing.

"What happened Rick? Where's Calleigh?"

Rick shook his head, not meeting Horatio's eyes. "I don't know what happened, all of a sudden Calleigh shouts out bomb and all hell breaks loose. I duck behind a tree and am pinned there until everything is over."

Horatio walked to stand directly in front of Rick so that he had to look him, he asked once again. "Where is Calleigh?"

"I don't know. Maybe she took of running when the shooting started."

"Show me exactly where you were when the explosion happened. I want to know everything that you did."

Rick pointed to where they had started out. "We came in that way, but since it was too thick, Calleigh decided to come around this way. I tried to tell her that if we did that, we would be seen from the building, but she ignored me. There was a fallen log and I think that there was a trip wire strung over the top of it. She thinks that she can't do anything wrong and this time that may have cost her."

"Are you telling me that's what happened? That Calleigh set off the bomb?"

Rick looked Horatio straight in the eyes while shifting his weight back and forth on his feet.

"Yeah, that must be what happened. And I don't have any idea where she is now. She'll probably show up with some excuse to why she ran off or maybe she pushed her luck too far and got caught in the blast."

"You had better hope that she's alright Rick and she can confirm your story because nothing you've said sounds like the Calleigh that I know."

Frank Tripp and the SWAT leader beckon Horatio over, so he walked away.

"We've got five suspects, three more of them are dead under suspicious circumstances. Two officers have minor injuries and the special liaison that was shadowing SWAT is unconscious."

"Frank, Calleigh is missing. I want search started immediately. I also want the rescue chopper out here for the wounded. I'll call Alexx and have her come out with it."

Frank immediately set up search parameters while Horatio got on his phone.

"Alexx, I need you to come out with the rescue chopper.... Yeah, we've got a few dead suspects, but that's not why... Calleigh is missing and I don't want Natalia to hear about it from someone else. Tell her that you're going to need her help out here... I'll contact the pilot and have him keep the radio to a minimum until you get here. Hopefully we'll find her before you get here..." He took a deep breath, listening to Alexx's response. "I know, they don't need this right now. See you soon."

Hanging up with Alexx, Horatio contacted the rescue pilot and asked for his cooperation with the radio transmissions. After ending that call, Horatio joined the search.

Just as Natalia was getting to work, she saw the caravan of vehicles pulling out. Seeing Calleigh driving the second Hummer, she knew that Calleigh would be going without breakfast. Grabbing the breakfast items and he purse, she got out of her car and went inside.

Depositing her personal items in her locker, she decided to wander down to the morgue to give Alexx, Calleigh's breakfast sandwich. Walking through the door she was greeted warmly by Alexx.

"Morning baby girl, how are you and how was the honeymoon?"

They gave each other a hug while Natalia answered. "I'm great and the honeymoon was even better. But I do have to admit, it's nice being back at work."

"Speaking of being at work, your beautiful wife called and wanted me to tell you that they had to got out on location and that she would call you when she gets back."

"Yeah, I saw them pulling out as I was coming in which is another reason I'm here."

Holding up the breakfast sandwich, Natalia stated. "Breakfast is served."

Handing the sandwich over to Alexx, Natalia bid her good-bye and went back to her own lab and proceeded to get to work.

A couple of hours later, Natalia was surprised to see that time had passed that quickly. She was also surprised to see Alexx rush in saying, "I'm gonna need some help so grab your kit and meet me outside at the chopper site."

Locking her computer and grabbing her kit, Natalia rushed outside to meet Alexx. The pilot was warming up the engine and the roar made it almost impossible to talk. Alexx pointed to the vehicle and they ducked into the cabin. Buckling up and putting on her headset as the chopper gracefully rose into the air, Natalia barely had time to acknowledge that it was the first time that she had been up in one.

In about fifteen minutes, they were flying over the Everglades with its marshes and saw grass. With the sun glinting off the water, Natalia was surprised that they were already at the location.

Alexx keyed her mike. "We need to find Horatio as soon as we land."

Natalia nodded her head in agreement and watched as the ground came up to meet them.

Soon they were running through the dust storm created by the chopper blades. Looking up, Natalia spied Horatio coming towards them and headed his way.

Taking her gently by the arm, he took her aside and removed his glasses. Looking her directly in her eyes, Horatio softly said, "There's no easy way to say this, but there was an explosion and now Calleigh is missing."

Her vision immediately started to gray out, but Natalia remained standing, and even though she knew that Horatio was saying that they were performing a search, the only thing that she could hear was the blood rushing though her ears.

Alexx laid a gentle hand on Natalia's arm, bringing her back to the present.

"Natalia, they are out searching for her right now. They will find her."

Turning back to Horatio, Natalia stammered out. "Where was she when this happened? Where was Stetler in all of this? He's supposed to be shadowing her. He should know where she is."

Looking down, unable to look Natalia in the eyes, Horatio replied. "He has already given his report. I would like for you to please stay away from him for now, Natalia. Let me take of him. He has hung himself and he doesn't even know it yet."

"Just show me where this happened. I need to see it."

The three of the walked up to and around the structure and when Natalia saw the damage left by the blast, she gasped and stumbled, glad that Horatio had offered her a steadying hand.

Looking around, she saw officers diligently searching for her wife. Her wife was missing and she couldn't show any emotion to anyone other than the two people at her side right now. All she wanted to do was to scream out Calleigh's name to see if she would answer her.

Instead she turned to Horatio.

"Where do you want me to go start searching? Just point me in a direction. I need to help."

He briefly turned to Alexx and told her where she needed to be and then proceeded to take Natalia to an open section and they both started searching.

Pain, white-hot pain was the first thing that Calleigh realized when she regained consciousness. She also tasted blood while her face stung and felt like it was on fire. When she tried to open her eyes, the pain almost made her pass out again. Closing her eyes quickly, focusing on her breathing, Calleigh also became aware that her throat was very scratchy, but was able to get the pain under control and took inventory of her situation.

She could tell that she was up against a tree and had something covering her. She felt along the covering and decided that it was a piece of tin roofing. Calleigh then moved and felt each leg as best as she could to make sure that they weren't injured. As soon as she touched her left shinbone, she knew that it was broken as the pain made her break out in a cold sweat. Reaching up, she found that the tin extended farther than her head. Calleigh could hear people far off talking, but when she tried to call out, her voice sounded like a croak. Trying to swallow a couple of times did not improve the sound.

Slowly she brought right leg closer to her and then started to stand up. She had a few pains as she rose, but it wasn't nearly as bad as her eyes. Then she made accidentally touched her left leg to the ground and back down to the ground she went. The pain was so intense that it almost made her sick to her stomach so it took quite a few minutes to get everything settled back.

Once again Calleigh slowly attempted to stand, this time she made sure not to move or jar her left leg. She had to pause a couple of times on the way up and was extremely glad that she was leaning up against the tree for support.

When she was finally at her full height, Calleigh placed her right hand against the tin and pushed. It only moved a few inches so she put her right shoulder against it and tried again. This time it moved about a foot and fell back. Taking a few more minutes to rest, Calleigh then took a deep breath, placed her shoulder against the tin and pushed off the tree with her left arm. This time the tin fell forward and she followed it to the ground, screaming as loud as her throat would let her as she jarred her leg.

Natalia turned at the sound of the crash and was stunned to see her wife fall to the ground writhing in pain. A split second later she was on her way to Calleigh's side.

Calleigh was trying to get to her feet when Natalia got to her. Kneeling on the ground, Natalia reached out and touched Calleigh's back.

With the touch, Calleigh turned and croaked out, "Talia?"

Seeing her wife's face, Natalia was barely able to keep the shock from her voice.

"Yeah babe, I'm right here. I've got you."

Horatio had already shouted for a medic and so he ran over with a bottle of water.

"Calleigh, where all are you hurt?"

Horatio was barely able to hear her reply.

"My eyes, face and left leg."

Gently he leaned her back so that her head was in Natalia's lap. "We're going to have to irrigate you eyes with fresh water sweetheart. We need to get the debris out and it's going to be very uncomfortable, but we need to do it."

Eric ran up with his arms full with bottled water. Horatio showed Eric how to hold Calleigh's eyes open while pouring the water.

Natalia couldn't help, but give a small gasp when she saw the blood that was pouring from Calleigh's eyes.

As soon as the water hit her eyes, Calleigh almost bolted from her lap and started thrashing about. She gasped out. "It hurts. Burning me."

"Officers, help us out here. Please help us hold her down, but be careful with her left leg."

For the next few minutes, Horatio and Eric concentrated on washing as much debris out of her eyes as they could while Natalia gently stroked her hair and murmuring that everything was going to be all right. Saying anything that she could just to keep Calleigh calm.

Alexx ran up, kneeling beside Calleigh.

"The medics are on their way. We'll get her to the emergency room as quickly as we can and I'll call for an ophthalmologist to be on hand when she arrives."

The medics arrived so the next few minutes were spent getting Calleigh up on the stretcher and headed for the chopper. Alexx got in first, then Calleigh was put in, but when Natalia tried to climb aboard she was stopped.

"Ma'am, there just isn't enough room for you. You'll have to meet us at the hospital."

Natalia looked at Alexx. "You keep talking to her. Make sure she's told what's happening to her. Calleigh needs to know what's going on. And you tell her that I'll be there as quickly as I can. Don't forget to tell her that I..."

Alexx nodded her head. "I'll tell her, but she already knows. Horatio will get you there as quickly as he can and I'll make sure she gets the best until you get there and can take over."

Natalia stepped away from the chopper and the doors were closed. She walked off a ways before she turned to watch it rise into the air.

A touch at her elbow turned her to see Horatio standing there, waiting.

"Let's go. It will take us about a half hour to get there."

They walked over to Horatio's champagne colored Hummer and started to get in when Rick walked up and started to open the back passenger side door.

Turning to face him, Natalia didn't even bother keeping the disgust from her voice.

"Find another ride Rick. This one is full."

"Guess again Boa Vista. I need to get to the hospital to debrief Duquesne as quickly as possible."

Horatio came around to stand beside Natalia.

"No Rick. You do not get to debrief Calleigh. Someone else will do that after she sees the doctors. You are to keep away from her. You have to follow the same rules as anyone else you know that. Each person is talked to separately and is not allowed to talk to each other. You'll just have to wait like everyone else. So like Ms. Boa Vista said, this ride is full. Find another."

And with that, Horatio opened the door for Natalia, helped her in and went around to get into his side. Before he could close his door, Rick pulled it back open.

"Your girl had better tell a good story if she's going to get out of this mess. This may be something that even you won't be able to help with."

"You just don't get it Rick, do you? I don't need to help her out. Calleigh can handle her own battles. I'm just around for support if anyone ever needs it. Now let go of my door because Calleigh does need my support right this moment and you're keeping me."

Closing the door, Horatio barely missed trapping Rick's fingers and soon the Hummer was on its way to the hospital. The ride was quiet as all Natalia did was stare out the front window, clenching and unclenching her hands.

As soon as they pulled up to the emergency room entrance, Natalia was out of the car and rushing inside.

"Calleigh Duquesne, where is she?"

Alexx overheard her and walked out of a cubicle.

"Natalia, here. She's waiting on you."

Natalia went to go into the room, but Alexx stopped her.

"Calleigh needs to have surgery on her eyes. There's a lot of debris that we weren't able to get out and some bleeding at the back of her eyes. She has some abrasions and lacerations on the outsides of her eyes and they removed the debris from her face. Calleigh broke the tibia which means that she'll be in a walking cast for at least a couple of months. She also inhaled some smoke so her voice is raspy, but that will soon wear off."

Closing her own eyes for a brief moment while she took a deep breath to process what she had just been told, Natalia then asked.

"Is she in a lot of pain?"

Shaking her head, Alexx replied. "No, they've given her something for that and she's a lot more comfortable now. She refuses to have the surgery though until she can talk to you."

"What do the doctors say about the possibility of her being blind?"

Alexx paused a moment before she answered. "They can't tell you for sure what will happen until after the surgery. Once they're able to see the extent of damage, they'll know more. But she's strong and we were able to wash a lot out before she got here and that helped. I'll be in there with her like I was with you and I'll make sure that she gets the best. Now you better go in there, she's waiting."

Pushing open the door, Natalia walked in and found Calleigh in a semi-relining position on the gurney with her eyes closed. Quietly Natalia closed the door and looked at her wife. Her face was red and cut where the debris had hit. Her left leg was already in a cast and was elevated.

Walking to the right side of the gurney, Natalia gently touch Calleigh's hand whispering her name.

Slowly Calleigh turned her head towards Natalia and opened her eyes. Natalia swiftly placed a hand over lips to silence the gasp that almost escaped.

Calleigh's eyes were blood red, no other color was showing.


Grasping the hand that Calleigh was holding out, Natalia held it over her heart. "Yes, my love. I'm right here. I'm sorry that it took us so long, but I think that Horatio broke a new land speed record. I hear that you need surgery, but you were waiting on me. We need to go ahead with it babe, so we can get you home."

"I know, but they wanted to take off my wedding rings and the only person I want doing that is you. I never wanted to take them off, but I guess that I have to now."

Gently Natalia slid off the simple gold band from Calleigh's left hand, then the emerald eternity ring from her right. She placed them on her own hands.

"I'll wear them until you can put them back on. Are you in pain, love?"

Closing her eyes and laying her head on her pillow, Calleigh sighed. "No, not really. They gave me something that brought the pain down to a dull roar."

Turning her face in Natalia's direction, but keeping her eyes closed, Calleigh whispered: "I'm scared, darlin'. What happens if I can't see? What will I do then?"

Leaning close and carefully putting her arms around her wife, Natalia brushed a kiss on golden hair before saying. "We need to be positive, babe. I know that you'll be fine, but if it turns bad, we'll deal with it. You can do anything that you set your mind to and I have faith in you. Together, we can handle anything."

The door opened and a nurse walked in.

"Are you ready to authorize the surgery now? We need to do this as quickly as possible. Dr. Tatum has set up the O.R. All we need to do is to get you prepped."

Calleigh nodded her head while Natalia held on to her hand, so the nurse called someone and soon Calleigh was being wheeled down the hall towards the operating room.

Motioning to the attendant to stop for a moment, Natalia leaned over and whispered into Calleigh's ear. "I'll be right here waiting for you so don't take too long."

Giving a weak smile, Calleigh whispered. "I won't. I waited too long to find you to leave you hanging around. I love you darlin'."

"I love you too babe."

Placing a gentle kiss on Calleigh's lips, Natalia took a step back and watched as they wheeled her love, her wife through a pair of pale green doors. Walking up to the doors, Natalia looked through the small window until they turned a corner and disappeared from sight.

Slowly Natalia turned and walked back to the emergency room entrance. There she found Horatio patiently waiting.

Walking over, Natalia told him that Calleigh was in surgery and it would be a few fours before they knew anything at all.

"Calleigh wouldn't want you sitting around here waiting. She would say that you've got a scene to process and you'd better get to it. I promise to call as soon as she's out of recovery."

Horatio ducked his head. "Yes, that sounds like something that Calleigh would say, but I also know that she wouldn't want you to be here alone. So I'm just going to stay with you until she gets out."

Together they walked to the surgical waiting room and while Horatio took a seat, Natalia went over to the window to stare out. Instead of seeing the waving palms and the sparkling blue ocean in the distance, she was remembering different times with Calleigh. Like on Natalia's first day when she walked up and introduced herself to both Calleigh and Ryan. Natalia couldn't remember one word that she said because she was in awe

that the beautiful blonde that was standing in front of her. When she had finally got back to her lab, Natalia had prayed that she hadn't babbled on like a love struck teenager. Then she remembered the first time that she had woken up with Calleigh in her bed. The sun had caught the golden hair and the faceted eyes, making her seem like an angel and illuminating the green in her eyes.

Closing her own eyes, Natalia couldn't even imagine not seeing those beautiful jade green eyes looking back at her without love, joy or any other emotion. If Calleigh lost her sight, it wouldn't change the way that Natalia felt about her. The loss would just be something that they would both have to deal with together, but Natalia knew that Calleigh could do anything that she set her mind to.

Turning away from the window, Natalia found Horatio was watching her. Walking over to sit in the chair next to him, Natalia gently touched his arm.

"Thank you for staying. I may not say much, but it's nice to know that you're here."

Ducking his head in his familiar fashion and smiling, Horatio's whiskey smooth voice calmed her nerves.

"There is nowhere else that I would rather be. You and Calleigh are family to me and I will always be here for you. Now can I go and get you something to drink?"

"No thank you. I'm fine."

"Well, if you will excuse me, I'm going to check very quickly on the other officers that were injured and I'll be back."

Natalia nodded her head and watched him walk off. Leaning her head against the wall behind the chair, Natalia closed her eyes and began to think back to earlier that morning. It was hard to believe that it had been just that morning when Calleigh had her blender mishap. It seemed like a lifetime ago.

Then the memory of Calleigh smiling at her during their ceremony came to mind and Natalia almost started to cry. She prayed to the powers that be for Calleigh's sight to be spared. Slowly Natalia relax enough so by the time that Horatio returned, she was sound asleep in her chair.

A soft touch to her arm immediately brought Natalia out of her slumber and wide awake, calling out Calleigh's name. Looking down at her watch, she noticed that five fours had passed. Horatio was standing next to an attractive blonde woman wearing blue scrubs.

"Natalia, this is Dr. Tatum."

Rising from her chair, Natalia shook her hand. "How is Calleigh?"

"The surgery went well. There were a few debris that were near the optic nerves, but I removed them without any problems. Didn't see any obvious injuries to the nerves. Both eyes are still bleeding, but it's at a minimum. She's going to need to stay under observation for a couple of days and then she can go home."

"What is the chance that she'll regain her sight."

Dr. Tatum nodded her head. "It looks good. She's going to have to keep her eyes covered for a few weeks. I'll give her some antibiotics that will have to be put in daily, but there shouldn't any reason why her sight won't return. We'll just have to wait and see. You can go ahead to her room. She should be in a little bit."

Natalia thanked her, touched Horatio on the arm to say goodbye and hurried off. In a few minutes, she was pacing in an empty room waiting for them to bring Calleigh in. The time seemed to slow until the orderlies wheeled in the bed that contained her wife. She stood against a wall until they got her situated and left, then Natalia was at Calleigh's side.

Leaning over, Natalia gently brushed her lips against Calleigh's and then pulled a chair next to the bed. Brushing golden hair away from Calleigh's face, Natalia took a better look at her injuries. Calleigh's complexion was still pale, but Natalia could see a little color trying to peak through. There were scratches and tiny pocket marks on her face,

but odds were that they would heal without leaving any scars. She was still as beautiful as the day that Natalia married her. Finally Natalia sat down, keeping hold of Calleigh's hand and began her vigil.

Part 3

Return to C.S.I. Miami Fiction

Return to Main Page