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 5

It was late morning when the ringing of the phone woke Calleigh. Groggily she reached, found and answered it.

"Hello, DuVista."

There was a brief moment of silence and then Horatio's smiling voice came through.

"Have you legally changed your name and just not told me?"

Quickly Calleigh replayed what she just said and literally hit her head with her palm.

"Let's just leave it as a blonde moment. Morning Horatio. How are you today?"

Chuckling Horatio continued. "I'm fine thank you, but you might not like me very much. I need for Natalia to come in. With you out, we are short handed, but I'll try to get her home as soon as possible."

"No problem. She'll be there within an hour. And we'll let you know on the name change. Have a good day."

"You too Duquesne."

Laughing to herself, Calleigh hung up the phone and turned to wake Natalia. Sliding her hand across the sheet until she came in contact with silky skin, Calleigh leaned down and gently shook her wife.

"Talia, hun. You need to wake up. Horatio needs for you to go in for awhile."

The sounds of a moving body across the sheets were followed by a quiet gasp.

Natalia voice drifted through the air. "Don't say it. Trust me; last night was worth whatever I have to feel for the next couple of days."

"Not saying a word darlin'. Just going to get you some juice and you don't have to say it either. I'm staying away from the blender."

Before Natalia went into the bathroom to get ready, she quickly knelt in front of Calleigh, helping her put on her walking boot. Then they each went their own way and Calleigh hobbled to the kitchen to pour them some juice. After washing her hands, she pulled out a couple pitchers of juice and a couple of glasses. Placing the pitchers on the counter, she smelled each one and then poured a glass of each, measuring the amount by place the tip of her finger over the rim and into the glass, and when the liquid reached the tip, she quit pouring.

After putting away the pitcher, she carefully picked up the glasses and made her way back to the bedroom without bumping into too many things. As she walked in the room, Natalia met her at the doorway.

"Babe, you didn't have to bring it in. I was about to go out there."

"I know, but we also need to put the drops in again and this way we don't have to go back and forth. Would you like orange or grapefruit juice?"

"Orange please and let's go ahead and put the drops in now."

Calleigh sat down on the bed while Natalia grabbed the supplies, coming back and took off the patches. Gently she removed the gauze and asked Calleigh to open her eyes. The redness had gone down even more than it had been earlier and Natalia happily told Calleigh.

After replacing the gauze and patches, Natalia leaned down to place very soft kisses on each patch and then leaned down a bit further to brush her lips against Calleigh's.

Swiftly Calleigh reached up and trapped Natalia's head right where it was, prolonging the kiss until they had to breathe.

"I'm gonna miss you today and I know that you will, but try not to worry too much. I'm just gonna take it easy, listening to some music and maybe listen to the television. I can work on learning where everything is a little bit better. Now drink your juice and don't forget to eat something in a couple of hours."

Natalia stroked her wife's face. She knew that her leaving was bothering Calleigh more than she was letting on, but Natalia played along.

"I will babe and you don't try to do too much either. I'll try and just call you once, but I'm not going to promise."

They drank their juice and made their way back to the kitchen, putting the glasses in the sink and then Calleigh walked Natalia to the back door. Once there, Natalia turned to Calleigh.

"I forgot to give these back to you. I hadn't taken them off since you gave them to me."

Natalia removed Calleigh's eternity ring and her wedding band off of her hand and put them back on her wife's hands, kissing each one once they were in their proper place. She then slid on Calleigh's solitaire in its rightful place.

Pulling Calleigh into her embrace, Natalia held her quietly for a few moments, just savoring the closeness.

"Please be careful today. I'll be home as quickly as I can and if you need anything, give me, Horatio or Alexx a call."

Calleigh's muffled voice wafted up from Natalia's chest. "I will, but try not to worry. I'll be right here when you get home. Just remember that I love you."

Natalia leaned down to kiss her wife one last time before she left. Whispering, "I love you too Calleigh DuVista." She reluctantly let her go, walked out to her car and drove away.

As she drove away, she didn't pay any attention to the empty car down the street.

For the first few hours, Calleigh didn't do much of anything. She made their bed, smoothing out the wrinkles the best that she could. Then she decided to wash the sheets and a few clothes. She put the sheets in first and then began to sort the clothes the best she could by how they felt. As she was doing that, she became aware of something unusual. It seemed to her that she could tell the color of the material by how it felt.

When she picked up the red blouse that she loved to see Natalia in, the cloth seemed warm to the touch. And her favorite pair of sea green sleep pants was cool. She made up her mind to try an experiment when Natalia got home.

After finishing sorting the clothes, Calleigh made her way to the living room. As she passed the kitchen, she paused for a moment as she thought that she felt a presence. It felt like someone had opened a door and walked in. Tilting her head, Calleigh strained to hear anything out of the ordinary, but after a few minutes, gave up. Finally making into the living room, she sat down of the sofa and found the remote to the stereo, turning it on to a jazz station that Natalia liked.

Leaning back against the cushions, Calleigh relaxed and enjoyed the music for a half hour before a small noise caught her attention. Turning down the volume, Calleigh listened intently, but couldn't place what she had heard.

Getting up off the sofa, she headed into the kitchen with the intention to find something to eat when the phone rang and she headed for the counter to where she and Natalia had agreed to leave the phone. It wasn't there. Stopping for a moment, she listened again for the ring and upon hearing it, headed in that direction. Slowly she made her way into the laundry room and was narrowing down on where it was when the answering machine picked up. Natalia's voice floated back to Calleigh and she listened as Natalia said that she would call right back. And true to her word, the phone rang almost immediately and this time Calleigh was able to find the phone and answered on the third ring.

"Hi… No, I couldn't find the phone… Yeah, I thought that we did too… No, I'll keep it in my pocket now… You can… That's good… OK, I'll talk with you later… Right back at ya."

Hanging up the phone, Calleigh slid it into her pocket, put the sheets into the dryer and headed again toward the kitchen to fix a sandwich.

Natalia made her way to work, parked her car and quickly walked inside. After putting her purse into her locker, she made her way over to the D.N.A. lab and immediately got to work. She figured that if she could keep busy, that she wouldn't have time to worry about Calleigh being alone at home.

A couple of hours later, Natalia looked up to see Horatio standing in the doorway.

"Sorry about having to call you in."

Shaking her head, Natalia replied. "Not to worry. I know what we're shorthanded and I can't ask the team to cover for me again."

"How's Calleigh doing? Is she still in pain?"

"No. Actually she's not. The redness is beginning to go down and she getting around really well with the walking boot, you know how she is. She has to do everything on her own."

Bowing his head, Horatio gave a gentle smile. "Yes, that she does. Well, I'll need for you to go out into the fields from time to time, but I'll try to get you home as early as I can."

"Not a problem. Just let me know when and I'll be right there."

Bidding Natalia good-bye, Horatio walked off. Natalia decided that she had waited long enough and called her wife. She was leaning against her desk as the phone started to ring, but as it kept on ringing, she straightened with a worried look on her face. When the answering machine finally picked up, she simply said that she would be calling right back so she quickly hung up and redialed. This time after three rings Calleigh's voice came over the line.

"Hi… Are you hurt? Why didn't you answer… Thought that we left it on the kitchen counter… OK, good. Anyway I just wanted to check in and to let you know that I can still feel you… Yes ma'am… It's very good. I've got to get back to work… I love you babe…"

The rest of the day went quickly for Natalia as she completed every request for testing as it came in. She felt like she couldn't work fast enough, but she was very careful not to make any mistakes. There wasn't going to be any chance that anyone would get away with any crime if she could stop it.

Horatio called late in the afternoon, asking her to go by the AV Lab and see if they were finished with a recording that had been dropped off the day before. She agreed and headed towards that department.

Walking in, Natalia found Jethro, the nighttime tech working at his keyboard. He was a young man in his late 20's, with brown curly hair; wire rimmed glasses and a quiet voice. He had been on the night shift for three years and was very good at his job.

"Hi Jethro! How have you been?"

Looking up, Jethro smiled as the beautiful woman walked in. 'Ah, Natalia. She is so lovely. I wish that I could talk her into going out.'

"I'm great Natalia and I thought that I asked you to call me Jet?"

Laughing Natalia answered. "I know that you did, but I just like the name Jethro and it seems to fit you. Horatio said that there was a disc that was supposed to be ready."

Taking a folder off of his desk, Jethro stood up to hand it to Natalia. "Here you go. This one was super easy."

"Thanks Jethro." And Natalia turned to walk away.

"Hey Natalia."

Turning back to face him, Natalia waited.

"I.. um… was wondering if you would like to go out to dinner sometime. I know a great Italian restaurant downtown."

"I'm sorry Jethro, I can't. I'm seeing someone right now and it wouldn't be fair to you. I hope that you understand."

Jethro nodded his head. "Yeah, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I guess that I just waited too long to ask."

"It's ok. Maybe we can have a coffee sometime then. Right now I better get this back to Horatio. See ya later, ok?"


And with that, Jethro watched Natalia walk away, admiring the gentle sway of her hips and the way that her hair floated about her shoulders.

'She said that we would go out for coffee. She's probably not happy with the guy that she's with and just wants to end it with him before we start going out. I can wait, I'm a patient guy.'

And with that, Jethro gave a final glance at the woman walking down the hall before turning back to his keyboard.

Natalia headed towards Horatio's office with the disc, but was met half way by the man himself.

"Here you go Horatio. Jethro said that it was an easy one."

"Thank you Natalia. Did Calleigh tell you that she answered the phone this morning by saying DuVista?"

Putting her hand over her mouth, Natalia looked shocked. "No, she didn't and I didn't even hear her say it. She must've been half-asleep so I guess that her sub-conscious must be working overtime. We're gonna have to discuss that then."

Smiling Horatio said, "Well, I'll let you go then. Give her my best and tell her I'll drop by soon."

"Good night Horatio. I'll see you tomorrow then. Have a nice evening."

And with that, Natalia went back to her lab to finish up, then to her locker to get her purse and walked out to go home. As she walked down the sidewalk towards her car, she was unaware that she was being watched.

Walking into the house, Natalia knew immediately that something wasn't right. Quickly she went into the living room to find Calleigh sitting on the sofa and softly called out her name.

Turning her head in the direction of Natalia's voice, Calleigh whispered, "Talia, are you there?"

Sitting down beside her wife, Natalia brushed some hair away from Calleigh's face. "Yes, my love. I'm home. What's the matter?"

"I feel like I'm going crazy. I've been hearing noises all afternoon and I'll put something down one place and when I go to pick it back up, it's not there."

Looking around the room, Natalia could see that a few items were in different locations than where they had been before and there was something else, but she couldn't place.

"Babe, you're not going crazy. Something is going on here and I knew the moment I walked in. I can't explain it right now, but I promise you that I will get to the bottom of it."

Wrapping her arms around Natalia's waist, Calleigh held on to the one true constant in her life. For Calleigh knew without a doubt that this woman whose heart she could feel beating beneath her cheek, this woman would be by her side through anything life decided to throw at her. She still berated herself for trying to send her away, even though there was a tiny part that still said that it was the right thing to do. Tightening her hold on her wife, Calleigh drew a sigh.

"Where has your twisted mind taken you now? You're too quiet Cal and sometimes that scares me."

Natalia looked down at her wife, wishing that she could see her eyes, but knew that would come in time. She watched as Calleigh reached up and unerringly grazed her fingers against Natalia's lips.

"You know me so well darlin'. I'm not trying to scare you, honest. I'm just thankful that I have you in my life."

"We know each other babe. And neither of us is going anywhere so there. Now let's talk about dinner. How do you feel about leftovers?"

So the rest of the evening was filled with mundane events. They had dinner and afterwards, went around and put all of the misplaced items back where they were supposed to be, making sure that Calleigh remembered the locations. After bathing, putting in the eye drops and right before going bed, Calleigh asked Natalia to join her in the laundry room. There she explained what she had discovered with regards to the colors. Natalia couldn't feel the difference, but she did admit that Calleigh got eight out of ten correct when they tried an experiment. They just put it down to Calleigh's heightened senses.

After getting into bed and with Calleigh lying with her head on her shoulder, Natalia drawled out. "So I hear that you answered the phone this morning by saying DuVista. Are you ready for a name change?"

Laughing, Calleigh replied. "I can't believe that I did that and as much as I would love to have a name change, I'm not sure that we should. They may prohibit us from working together if we did that, and that's something that I won't allow to happen. But I would love to have another ceremony for our family and friends. How do you feel about that?"

"Babe, I'll marry you as many times as you want. And as for the name change, if you really want to, I'm all for it and if they raise a stink, we'll take them to court. Our names don't control how we do our jobs and as long as it isn't job related, they can kiss my ass."

"No, they can't. I'm the only one that can do that. Thank you very much. Speaking of which, are you still sore?"

Placing a kiss against Calleigh's forehead, Natalia chuckled. "Yeah, a bit, but like I said last night, it was worth it. As for tomorrow, I would like for you to carry your cell and the house phone around with you. And I want you to call me if you feel that something is going on again. We'll get to the bottom of this, I promise."

Calleigh believed her and soon they were both asleep.

Part 6

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