Okay this is a new story, posted specifically for critique. Enjoy!
Author’s Note: This story is 6th in a series, second in the Time of Dying trilogy, but since I don’t have any of them completely written it should stand just fine on its own. Any questions about anything, just ask. And a word about Calleigh's house: They gave us her address in Deviant. She lives in Bal Harbor, which is about the richest neighborhood in Miami, so her house kicks ass. This is part post-ep, part missing scenes from Miami 5x09 Going, Going, Gone
Disclaimer: Anyone you haven’t seen walk across the tv is mine. Refer to I-95 South for background info on Kizzi Thomas.
If I owned them, I’d have a horse farm on the beach with a bigger yard for my dogs. And I’d get to eat every day.
“I will deal with you later.” She hated how weak she sounded, but the bullet had knocked the wind out of her. There’d be a belt-clip-sized bruise on her back, too, she thought ruefully, reaching for her phone and hitting the number one speed dial as if her life depended on it.
“It’s me.” Like anyone could hear her accent and think it was anyone else. “You need to hear this from me. I was shot just now, and I am fine. The Kevlar caught it. Eric!” She cut him off before he started to freak on her; she just couldn’t deal with that right now. “Listen to me. You have a job to do, and I need you to focus on that for me, okay?” She could almost feel him focus on her voice and settle a bit. “I need you to get Natalia to get the explosives sniffer from Homeland Security and meet me at the scene, alright?”
“Okay, Cal.” His breathing was ragged. She could tell he was about two seconds away from losing it completely.
“Eric, I will call you when I can. I hate to do this but I have to go. Jake what the hell are you doing?” She pinned him with her iciest glare as she snapped her phone closed. “Call the ME and SWAT. No rescue.”
“Cal, you were just-“
“I am well aware of the bullet to the chest, Berkeley. SWAT has a medic. End of discussion.”
He backed off under her icy glare, leaving her to sit at the edge of the dock and wait for the cavalry.
No one wants to hurt me but everybody tries*
“Hey, Cal,” Kizzi said lightly, crouching next to her friend.
Calleigh jumped, startled out of her daydream. “Hey, Sweet Pea. You look fantastic back in that uniform.”
Kizzi grinned. “Thanks.” She wore black BDUs and boots with her flaming hair in a long braid and a jump bag slung across her back. “Calleigh, sweetie, you’re not supposed to stop bullets with your boobs.”
Calleigh snorted with laughter, then winced. “Don’t make me laugh, it hurts.”
Pretending not to notice how out-of-character Calleigh was acting, Kizzi just smiled. “That’s what happens when you get shot. Can I check you out?” Calleigh nodded. Kizzi pulled out a bright purple stethoscope and BP cuff and set about taking her friend’s vitals, trying not to show how upset she was. Calleigh never admitted to being anything but fine, at least not publicly. If she said it hurt… Kizzi wrote down the numbers and listened to Calleigh’s heartbeat and breathing. “Talk to me, Cal.” She hated to bother her when she knew Calleigh needed time to process, but with a million complications running through her mind, she was more worried about making sure the bullet hadn’t seriously hurt her. Bad enough the emotional fallout that would come when everyone whose life Calleigh touched on a daily basis found out that she had taken a hit at all. A scrap of Kevlar and a few millimeters were all that had saved her best friend from her second brush with death in five months, and Kizzi sent a brief thank you for that to whatever deities were listening.”
“It hurts, Kiz. Bad. Like I got stepped on by an elephant.”
“Take some deep breaths for me, okay?” Kizzi moved the stethoscope on her back. “Any dizziness?”
Calleigh shook her head absently. “Just sharp pain surrounded by dull pain.”
“Okay. Pull your shirt down a little for me?”
Calleigh did, still looking out at the ocean. Kizzi realized that Calleigh hadn’t looked at her once. “You’re gonna have one hell of a bruise, but I don’t see any bleeding. You need to take it easy, though. Your pulse is a bit higher than I’d like. Going from your baseline; I know you’re always tachy.”
Calleigh nodded, consciously slowing her breathing. “There’s Nat. I’ve gotta go finish this case. Thanks, Kiz.”
“Anytime, Cal. I’ll check on you later. Call me if the pain gets worse or anything changes, okay?
“I will.” Calleigh smiled and walked up the hill to process the scene.
My whispers turn to screams
And place the blame*
“Calleigh!” Kizzi screamed. When she looked up, Kizzi continued in sign language. “I have to get to Turkey Point now! I need a Hummer!”
“Nat, give me your Hummer keys for Kiz, she’s got a live one.” Natalia dug them out quickly, and Calleigh ran with them to Kizzi, signing quickly to her what was up and throwing the keys when she got in range. Kizzi caught them and went flying off with a grateful smile. Calleigh sighed, turning back to the scene.
When you whisper in my ear things that only you could understand
When you touch me softly in the way that only you can do
I remember you*
“We have our moments.” Calleigh looked away, blushing. All these years and he still had that effect on her. At least now she had the hindsight to remember what an ass he was. So many times he had broken her heart. She just couldn’t do it anymore. She heard her phone ring and reached for it, not bothering to check the ID. “Duquesne.”
“Why didn’t he call rescue?”
“You were shot.”
“I realize that. I was there.”
“Don’t fuck with me. Why was he there?”
“He’s a conceited jerk who thinks with the wrong head?”
“You’re not funny.”
“There goes my hope of a career change to stand up.” He couldn’t help a chuckle at that, and she smiled. “What exactly is bothering you so much about this?”
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe that my best friend was almost killed? Again?”
“But I wasn’t.”
“Speed told me even with Kevlar it hurts like a bitch.”
“He wasn’t lying.” Calleigh heard a faint thump and knew Eric had punched something. “Listen,
I promised Nat dinner, but why don’t you head to my place when you’re done? Pick up some ice cream and movies? Play with Lina out back?” Stellina was her 6-month-old blue-eyed Husky puppy.
“Okay.” She heard the change in his voice and knew he was relaxing, focusing on being able to see and protect her.
“Let me drive, Eric. I’ll see you tonight.”
“Okay. Later, Cal.”
“Later.” She clicked the phone closed and sighed. It really did hurt. There was no way she was driving. “Hey, Nat!”
Natalia walked over. “What’s up, Cal?”
“Do you want to ride with me so we can go eat?”
Natalia stared at her friend for a long minute. “You hurt too much to drive and won’t admit it.”
Calleigh had to laugh at that. The two had become close friends, and Calleigh was grateful that the younger woman had figured her out so well. In answer, she handed Natalia the keys and got in the passenger side.
“You should probably have that looked at, but since I know you like hospitals about as much as I do I’ll just tell you to be careful. I’m not about to lose you, Cal.”
“You’re a good friend and I love you for it. Eric’s coming over later, and I’ll call Alexx or Kizzi if I have to. For now, let’s just relax a bit.”
“How ‘bout that Mexican place on the beach by your house?”
"Awesome.” Calleigh leaned back and closed her eyes. It felt like someone had belted her full force with a sledgehammer, worse than the line drive to the chest in fast pitch junior year. Lost in thought, Calleigh was startled when they parked. She looked over at Natalia. “That was fast.”
“No faster than usual. You were out in Neverland.”
“Lots to think about, I guess.”
“Like your man?”
Calleigh looked up sharply. “What man?” They sat down at a table on the beach. “I don’t have a man. He’s just my best friend.”
“I was talking about Jake.”
Calleigh blushed. “Oh. So, new subject.”
“You’re not getting out of that one, Duquesne.”
“Jake?” She asked innocently.
“Sure, right.” Laughing, they ordered peach margaritas and seafood enchiladas. As alike as they were, she knew that if she pushed Calleigh it would only piss her off. They sat in comfortable silence, watching the waves and sipping their drinks. Finally Calleigh spoke.
“I really shot myself in the foot with Jake. I could have been first in the class, but he was. I let myself get distracted; I wasn’t thinking with my head. Looks can be deceiving. He used me, Nat, and here he is thinkin’ I’ll let him do it again. He shows up, wreaks havoc in my life, and then disappears. I let my emotions take over before, but I can’t let it happen again.”
Natalia stirred her drink absently, digesting this huge admission from the woman she had come to think of as her closest friend. “Was he abusive, Cal?”
“In a way. He never laid a hand on me, but he never took seriously my ability to do the job. Not unless he needed something from me. But as soon as he got what he wanted I was just a wannabe again. Never mind that I was night shift walkin’ a beat in the toughest part of N’Awlins. I was still just a tiny chick with long hair that no one wanted as backup. Until they realized my weapons expertise, that is.” She paused as the waitress arrived with their food. “Bottom line, I should have known better. He keeps showing up and reminding me why I fell for him, but every time it ends the same. The sad thing is, if he had asked me to help him with that auction today, I probably would have. He just acts without thinking with no regard for the consequences.”
“Sounds a lot like Nick,” Natalia said softly.
“Well Jake never broke my arm, but he sure did a number on my self esteem. Broke my spirit, too. I mean, it’s not like I was great to begin with. And then when he went undercover-“ she sighed. “Jake, John, I’m just lucky they were willin’ to put up with me.”
“Cal, I wish you could see yourself the way the rest of us see you so you’d know how wrong you are.”
Calleigh laughed. “I could say the same to you!”
“Guess we both have a lot to work out.”
“Yeah, but we will.”
“Of course we will. In the meantime, let’s get you home.”
Calleigh nodded, reaching into her pocket and leaving enough to cover the bill and a huge tip. “You can get it next time.” She cut off Natalia’s protest and led the way to the Hummer. The ride to Calleigh’s house was short, and there was another Hummer in the driveway when they got there.
“Okay, so I’m driving yours, and that one’s there…”
“It’s cool, take mine back with you. Kiz left her truck at the lab, so y’all can switch and I’ll get mine back tomorrow.
“Okay. Take care of yourself, Cal.”
“You know it.” With a smile, Calleigh gathered her bag and laptop case and went up the front walk. Pushing open the front door, she was met with a delicious spicy smell. “Eric? Are you cookin’ for me?” She went down the wide steps into the den and dumped her bags on the black leather couch, then bent to unzip her boots. “Eric?”
“In the kitchen!” he called. She cut through the den and went up the three steps, stopping in the doorway and grabbing the counter to keep from falling over laughing. He was wearing her favorite blue apron and standing over something on the cooktop on the island. “What?”
“You! You’re wearin’ my apron, there.” Still giggling, she sat on a stool and leaned on the island, watching him. He’d cooked for her many times, but the apron was new.
“I didn’t have anything to change into, and I don’t want to mess up my work clothes.”
Calleigh got up and went up to her bedroom, coming back with his University of Miami track pants and a sleeveless shirt. “Forgot you left this here?”
“Yeah, I did. I’ll change when the paella is done.”
“It’s cool. You got anything to go with that?”
“Caesar salad. You want a drink?”
“I could go for a bloody mary.”
“Coming right up.”
“I’ll be right back, I wanna change.” She didn’t really want to leave, but every time she looked down she saw the rip in her shirt from the bullet, and she didn’t want to think about it anymore. Decorated in cool blues and lavenders, her spacious loft bedroom was an oasis of peace with a shaded balcony above her back deck overlooking her private beach. She treasured the calm after dealing with the worst humanity had to offer on a daily basis. She found her favorite worn black track pants and a sky blue tank top, but when she took off her shirt and saw the size of the bruise, she reached for a dark green Tulane hooded sweatshirt. No need to worry Eric any more than he already was. She could tell he was holding back, concentrating on cooking as a way to not deal with his emotions. She knew he’d have to deal, but since she was having problems with that she couldn’t very well make him. Heading back downstairs, she could only hope that everything would sort itself sooner or later.
Okay this is a new story, posted specifically for critique. Enjoy!