After the Storm

Written by CSI:MiamiFAN

The events of the last few days were foggy and weighed heavily on her mind at the same time. Calleigh didn't exactly know how to process it. It started with Horatio's extradition to Brazil and then she was kidnapped. Though her mind couldn't process the fact that she'd been kidnapped, her body reminded her that it was real. Now in view of her full-length mirror, Calleigh lifted her dark blue top, eyeing the large, purple-ish bruise on her ribs. She coasted her fingers along the sensitive area, her eyes prickling with tears as she remembered how she got it.

"Tommy's out running errands, figured we waste a little time..."

"I would rather die than have you touch me."

Seth McAdams wanted to figure out if he was going to call her bluff and decided to stroke her face and Calleigh fought back. The thought that he had overpowered her became her undoing and for the first time in her life, she thought she was going to become a victim of sexual assault and die too.

He put a gun to her face, something that was happening too frequently lately. She'd just gotten past the fact that she was almost a shooting victim as a result of unknowingly coming across an undercover drug operation involving a schoolteacher and a few drug dealers.

Calleigh let out an exhausted sigh. She was offered medical attention, but she refused. Sighing again, Calleigh stripped out of her clothes, walked to her bathroom, and climbed in her shower. She turned on the water, letting it get as hot as she could stand it. Under the spray of hot water, Calleigh finally allowed herself to cry. It wasn't so much the pain that she endured that had her in tears but the relief she felt from being rescued despite the hopeless outlook in the beginning.

"Oh my God," Calleigh said out loud. She wasn't sure if Tommy would have gone to the police station with the evidence, wasn't sure what Seth's plans were for her or how her career was going to be affected by being forced to clean up after criminals.

Calleigh shook her head and let out a final sigh. She reached for her shampoo, poured some in her palm, stretched to lather her hair and drew back sharply, wincing at the pain in her side. She let out a breath of air and as best as she could, finished he shower.

Eric wanted to stay with her, but she insisted that she was okay and that she just wanted to rest and think about what happened. It was important for her to process this on her own. Calleigh didn't want the sympathy or the sympathetic talks which she was sure was going to happen.

Now alone, the impact of her kidnapping had hit her. Everything that Calleigh felt over the last few days came out in tears. She was worried. Even though her number had been changed again, what if others found her new number? What if they knew where she lived? How would she ever process a scene again? If they thought she had trust issues before…

Sunlight shining through the window caused Calleigh to wake up. She wasn't sure when she fell asleep but knew it happened when she was trapped in her thoughts. She eyed the alarm clock, noting the time at 6:10am. Despite it being a workday, she had gotten time off. No one expected her to show up. Calleigh decided the best thing she could do was put the situation behind her and got ready for the day.

Instead of coffee, Calleigh decided to have tea. After putting water in the tea kettle, she began getting things together in her apartment when there was a knock on her door. She held her breath as her alarms went up. She looked at her door and bit her lip. Part of her feared who was on the other side of the door. Another knock and Calleigh exhaled. "Get it together," she said to herself, feeling that she was being childish. With new courage, Calleigh peeked through the peekhole, realizing it was Eric. She opened the door. "Eric," she said. "What are you doing here?"

Eric smiled genuinely. "Did you really think I was going to leave you alone?"

Calleigh opened her mouth to say something but decided against it. She smiled instead.

"How are you doing?" Eric asked.

Calleigh's automatic response, "I'm fine," came to her mind but in truth, she wasn't. Calleigh sighed. "I still can't believe that it happened."

Eric nodded his head in understanding. "Do you think you'll be okay?"

"In time, maybe," Calleigh answered honestly. Shifting the conversation, she smiled. "I halfway thought you were going to visit last night."

"I was here," Eric admitted. "I mean, not here but close." He looked in her eyes trying to clear her confusion. "I knew you'd like your privacy to process this. I didn't want to interfere."

Calleigh smiled appreciatively. "Thanks." Realizing that Eric was still on the other side of the door, she opened it wider. "Do you want to come in?"

Eric smiled and walked inside. Despite the turmoil he was sure was going on inside of Calleigh's head, her apartment was a different story. Everything was organized and neat. He turned around and Calleigh was right behind him.

"Thank you for checking on me," Calleigh said.

"Of course," Eric said.

"Can I get you anything," Calleigh offered. "Water, tea, coffee? I'm actually about to have tea…"

Eric grabbed Calleigh's hand and gave them a small squeeze and smiled. "Cal, slow down. You being here, safe, is more than I could ever ask for."

Calleigh blushed.

Eric wasn't going to let go of the moment and lifted her chin so that her eyes met his. "When I said, I don't know what I would've done if something had happened to you, I meant that. I love you, Calleigh."

Calleigh bit her lip at his admission. She was speechless.

Eric looked at her face, realizing Calleigh's inner turmoil. At that moment, he felt he was selfish. He didn't even allow her the time to recover from what she'd just gone through before he admitted his feelings for her. Or maybe she didn't feel the same way. "Cal…"

"Eric," Calleigh said, cutting him off. "I love you too."

Eric smiled shyly. "I'm sorry, I admitted this to you while you're processing what happened."

Calleigh smiled, dismissing his statement. "I don't mind."

"Do you want to talk about it?" Knowing details from the suspect, he was slightly afraid of what he'd hear if Calleigh started talking about it.

Calleigh rubbed her forehead, afflicted. She didn't want to talk about it because she didn't want Eric to look at her as a victim but knew talking about it may help. Calleigh sighed and sat on the couch and Eric followed. "Going against my ethics was probably the worst of it, but I guess all that goes out the window when you're trying to save your life."

Eric pressed his lips together. He'd seen the crime scenes that she cleaned and couldn't believe how well she'd done it. Eric wasn't sure if he would have done the same if he was in the same situation. Anything to link the kidnappers to their crimes would work for him.

"I just can't believe that stupid website led to it," Calleigh said.

"Cooper is already arrested for inadvertently conspiring the kidnapping of a police officer," Eric said.

Calleigh nodded her head. She knew Cooper personally and couldn't believe the way he destroyed his career. She bit her lip. "At times, it was hard for me to see a positive outcome in this situation. I had to put my trust in one of my kidnappers to do the right thing. The other one was as dangerous as they come."

Eric knew Calleigh was talking about McAdams. "Calleigh…did he…"

Calleigh looked at Eric and then at her coffee table, shaking her head. "He attempted, I fought." Her fingers skimmed her shirt as she debated whether to show Eric her bruise. She decided to show him, figuring sooner or later he would know about it. "He fought back too."

Eric mouth opened in shock. "Cal…"

Calleigh covered her bruise. "Eric, he didn't. I promise. He was more interested in saving his ass."

"You have to get that checked out," Eric said.

Calleigh shook her head. "Eric, it's fine. I've checked it, nothing is broken. It's just sensitive."

"Okay," Eric said. He still felt that Calleigh should get checked out but didn't want to argue with her.

"Thank you," Calleigh said.

Eric smiled. "For what?"

"For not pressing, for listening to me and for being here."

Eric smiled wide. "Calleigh if you think I'm gonna let you out of my sight again…"

Calleigh laughed.

Eric was truly happy that Calleigh was okay and happy to see her laughing. He really didn't know what he would've done if something had happened to her. He lifted her chin again so that she was looking at him. "May I?"

Calleigh nodded her head, feeling as Eric leaned in and kissed her lips. She couldn't believe that Eric's lips were on hers. Her best friend, but she couldn't deny her feelings for him either. Calleigh closed her eyes and put her half into the kiss.

The whistle from the tea kettle broke their kiss and realizing it, they both giggled. "I better go turn the pot off," Calleigh said.

Eric stopped her. "Hey, let me take care of you. Let me cook for you."

Calleigh's eyes widened and she smiled. "Okay."

Eric gave Calleigh's lips another peck and went into the kitchen to make breakfast, thankful that Calleigh was safe again.