Title: Solitary Man
Author: Susan217
Rating: G
Codes: H/C
Summary: Calleigh, Horatio and loneliness
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI: Miami. I am not making a profit from this.

She passes by the sign up sheet to volunteer for New Year's Eve on the bulletin board. Her eyes automatically scan the names, more habit than anything. Something to do while she stirs her coffee with her chewed-up ink pen.

She pauses when she comes to his name and traces her fingers over the signature. "Horatio Caine" in bold and black. He should have been a doctor.

His voice carries down the hall and she can't help but glance back at him. His head is cocked to the side, listening to something Eric is telling him. He's not looking at Eric, but out the window to his left. Anyone who didn't know him would find this rude. Eric finishes his speech, gets a short reply from Horatio and disappears back into the lab.

He doesn't move, just sighs deeply and returns his gaze to the window. He rolls his head from side to side, obviously tired, and she's surprised he's allowing that much weakness in public. He looks lonely. That's what drew her to him in the first place. He was the only person she'd ever met who looked lonelier than she felt.

His shoulders tense, and she knows he's realized that he's being watched. His eyes sweep down the hall until they land on her. He raises an eyebrow in question, and she tries to wave him off with the tips of her fingers. He approaches with his slow gait, leans against the wall beside her, and settles one hand on his waist. His eyes have dark shadows and she thinks he may be losing weight again.

"You're here late," he says.

She shrugs. "DNA was up a few minutes ago. I waited it out, I just haven't left yet."

"Mmm," he says. His eyes are watching everything else, but she knows he is focused totally on her.

"I'm off in a few. Do you wanna grab a bite to eat?" she asks.

She is gifted with a rare smile, and the curtain of loneliness that hangs over Horatio Caine seems to part for just a minute. "Sounds good. Just let me run up to my office…"

She misses his reason as he walks away. Instead, she looks back at the sign up sheet. Pulling the chewed-up pen from her coffee, she signs her name, bold and black.

One more night that Horatio won't have to be lonely.

She traces her signature. She really should have been a doctor…

"You ready?" he says, surprising her. He doesn't comment on the list. He puts a hand on the small of her back. It's warm there, and she likes the feeling.

She smiles and hopes maybe they can both be a little less lonely.