A Difference by Bj Jones [ - ]
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Category: CSI: Miami - Slashed > Horatio/Speed
Characters: Horatio Caine, Tim Speedle
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Episode Related
Warnings: None

Summary: He made a difference - Fix it for 'Three-way'

Disclaimer: I think we all know I don't own them and the reasons why. Various executives, producers, writers and studios that have more lawyers than I want to mess with own them. I'm not making any money just borrowing them for a bit and promise to return them.

Beta: Kay

Author's Note: Three-way had to be fixed... come on – it just screamed FIX ME!

~ After Life ~

Speed stared down at his friends, his family, and sighed. It shouldn't be this way. They were constantly arguing, sniping at each other. Calleigh was running from her problems. Eric was slowly losing grasp on his life. And Horatio. Horatio was slipping away. The new guy needed help; he had fallen into a bad situation. Everything was falling apart and he was stuck in the middle.

"It all started that day." Speed turned to see his best friend standing next to him.

"I wasn't that important," Speed looked back down. "My life didn't make that much of a difference."

Speed flinched from the swat to the back of his head. He turned and glared at Leo. "It did make a difference. Eric lost his best friend to keep him in line. Calleigh lost a confidant. Alexx lost her baby. Horatio lost the one he loves."

Speed looked up sharply. "What?"

"Horatio loved you; still does." Leo rolled his eyes at his friend. "You died in his arms, he couldn't save you. He's never gotten over it."

"You're now telling me this," Speed grumbled, turning away from the scene below.

"I'm telling you this, 'cause you have a decision to make." Leo explained.

Speed turned and looked at him. "Excuse me?"

"Decision," Leo smiled. "You now decide to do one thing or another."

Speed tried not to growl. "Leo!"

"Tim," Leo put his hand on his shoulder. "I died over ten years ago. You need to let go of me."

"I'm dead remember," Speed eyed him. "We're together now."

"But it wasn't supposed to be," Leo pulled him into his arms. "I was taken 'cause you had a life to live. You were needed in Miami and still are needed." He kissed Speed's temple, whispering softly. "Let go of me and live."

"Leo?" Speed held onto his first love. "I don't understand."

"Please, Tim. Live."

~ Miami ~

He sat up in bed, tears running down his cheeks. He looked around confused, he was dead had been for over a year. He got out of his bed, pulling on a pair of jeans. Looking around, nothing had changed it was exactly how he remembered it. He walked down the hallway into the living room. Slumping onto the couch his head buried in his hands. Was it only a dream? The jewelry store? His death? Leo? The team falling apart? Did he have that much influence? He leaned back his eyes landing on the calendar. September 2004.

His eyes tracked through the living room, landing on his holstered gun. 'Let go of me and live.'

He grabbed a t-shirt, slipped on his shoes, grabbed his gun and keys, and headed out towards his bike. The night air was cool to his skin as he drove through Miami. He was supposed to be on vacation. Horatio had suggested it, saying Speed had looked tired and haggard. The last few cases had been difficult. Then there was the fact it was that time of year – when everything in his life had fallen apart – parents kicking him out, loosing Leo, running away from New York.

He pulled up in front of the familiar beach house. He glanced at his watch, just past midnight. He could see the upstairs lights were still on. He debated about going up to the door. Was he risking everything on a dream? He glanced down at the gun on clipped onto his belt. Was it all worth it? His heart ached. Tears formed in his eyes. He knew he needed to let go, but could he? He glanced up to see the front door open and Horatio standing on the porch watching him.

Decision made he got off the bike and walked up to Horatio. He saw the confusion in his eyes, but also the concern. Speed just handed him his gun. His hands were shaking as he held it up. Horatio took it and then with his other hand took Speed's hand and pulled him inside the house.

~ Jewelry Store ~

"Officer down," Horatio leaned over Speed. ""

"I'm fine," Speed groaned, his shoulder hurt like hell. "Bastard."

"What?" Horatio helped him sit up. "You should take it easy."

"I still got shot," Speed grumbled.

"Speed?" Horatio forced Speed to look at him. "What are you rambling about?"

"Leo, I died... and he said I had a second chance... and I still got shot!" Speed explained.

Horatio just looked at him. "Did you hit your head?"

Speed glanced up at hi. "Never mind."

"We'll talk later," Horatio caressed Speed's forehead. "At home."

Speed smiled through the pain. "I like the sound of that."

~ Hospital ~

Speed groaned as he shifted in the bed. He hated hospitals, the smell, the feel of the place. He was fine and wanted to go home, with Horatio. The doctors felt it would be wise to stay over night for observation, since the bullet nicked his lung. He would be out of the field for a while, but he would live.

Stetler had already been in to speak to him. Speed had got a sick kind of satisfaction out of Stetler's shocked expression that his gun was cleaned and he had got a shot off. He had dived as the second gunman aimed for him, the bullet hitting him in the shoulder instead of the chest.

"You look happy." Leo appeared at the foot of his bed.

"I've been shot," Speed pointed out.

"But you're not dead," Leo grinned. "I couldn't stop the events, just circumstances within them."

"Now what?" Speed asked tears in his eyes as he looked at his first love.

"You live," Leo smiled brightly. "I'll see you when it's time."

"Leo..." Speed called out.

Horatio took Speed's hand and kissed his fingers. "Speed, honey, wake-up."

Speed jerked awake, groaning at the strain on his shoulder, "Horatio..."

"I'm here," Horatio smiled at him. "The doctor said I can take you home tomorrow."

"Did you find the boy?" Speed asked, eyes dropping.

"We're still working on it, but we've got some leads," Horatio smoothed Speed's hair back. "Get some sleep."

"Stay," Speed yawned. "I..."

"We'll talk when we get home," Horatio assured him.

"I want to live," Speed's eyes closed falling into a drugged sleep.

Horatio choked back his own tears, "I want you to live, too."

~ A Year Later ~

"I found evidence that Beth hit him with the towel rack at least three times," Calleigh set the folder down on the table. "She even admitted to it."

Eric looked up with a confused expression on his face. "That's funny; I have Felicia getting it on with Armando for two hours, before he slammed his head on the headboard, where she left him unconscious."

"Yet," Ryan laughed. "I got Erica pushing him over the back staircase railing, with the Manager dragging him downstairs to dispose the body. Though he claims that Armando woke up and ran off."

"According to the post with Alexx," Speed grinned at the three. "You're all wrong. His neck was snapped."

"Talk about a bad day," Calleigh tried not to snicker. "So how did he get his neck snapped?"

"Little odd that Felicia's husband got here so suddenly?" Speed smiled.

"I found laundry soap on her bags," Eric commented smiling back.

"Lint in his hair," Ryan added.

"And where does that take us?" Calleigh crossed her arms. "Anyone need to do their laundry?"

~ * ~

"A piece of advice," Speed walked out of the lab with Wolfe.

"I'm trying to get rid of her, but she just keeps showing up," Ryan complained.

"Don't talk with her without someone with you," Speed suggested as he climbed aboard his bike. "Don't let her ruin your reputation."

"Thanks," Wolfe paused. "Speed..."

"Yeah," Speed looked up before pulling on his helmet.

"Thanks, for taking the time out and training me. I know I don't seem like I appreciate it..." Ryan gave him a small smile.

"You're welcome," Speed started up his bike. "You've got good instincts, you just need the training. See ya tomorrow." Speed put on his helmet and took off out of the parking lot.


"You're early," Horatio kissed him lightly.

"Once we got all the clues together it was pretty obvious," Speed sat down at the table. "How are you doing?"

"Fine," Horatio smiled at him. "The therapist was a good idea."

"I understand letting go of the past, before it kills you." Speed got up and pulled Horatio into his arms. "I want to live and I want live my life with you by my side."

"I want that too," Horatio kissed him deeply. "I love you."

"I love you, too." Speed laid his head on Horatio's shoulder, just absorbing the closeness. One day, when he sees him again, he will thank Leo for giving him his life.

~ The End ~