A True Love Story
by Bj Jones
[ - ] - Text Size +
Category: CSI: Miami - Slashed
Characters: Alexx Woods
, Calleigh Duquesne
, Eric Delko
, Horatio Caine
, Tim Speedle
, DramaWarnings: Adult themes
, Death of canon character
It was time their story had been told...
100 AU Fic Challenge - Prompt #5 Last
Disclaimer: I think we all know I don't own them and the reasons why. They are owned by various executives, producers, writers and studios that have more lawyers than I want to mess with. I'm not making any money, just borrowing them for a bit and promise to return them.
Warning: Slash – if you don't like it – don't read it
2nd Warning: Tissues.... Hands out a few boxes....
Elizabeth walked around the small museum with a smile on her face. It had taken her a while, but she had done it. Everything was exactly how the Speedle family wanted it. Eric Speedle, grandson to Timothy Speedle Sr., had been specific on what the museum was to showcase. The history of the Caine family, through his grandmother Calleigh Caine, the accomplishments of Tim Speedle Sr. as Senator, the Caine Foundation, and Dr. Ryan Caine's medical advancements.
The displays showed the history of the Caine family from England, and the controversial inheritance of the Speedle fortune. Her favorite was the display on how Calleigh and Tim had met. Who cared about Jack and Rose – Elizabeth thought the love story between Calleigh and Tim on the Titanic was much more romantic.
She glanced at the center display that was still covered, the only display she didn't have anything to do with. Eric Speedle had taken care of the display, kept saying it was a surprise. This had her worried – a lot. She didn't like surprises. Especially on opening night for a museum she helped create. Nope, she didn't like surprises at all.
The party was a success. Elizabeth smiled as she mingled amongst the crowd. There were four generations of Caines and Speedles at the gala. She talked briefly with Timothy Speedle Jr., the man was in his nineties but still active and quick witted and he could always made her laugh. She wondered if Speedle Sr. was anything like him.
She paused and looked towards the back terrace of the museum. She didn't recognize the two men in the corner. They seemed to be more enthralled with each other than what was going on around them. She wandered over to them, curious as to who they were and how they knew either the Caines or Speedles.
"Excuse me," she smiled holing her hand out. "I'm Elizabeth Hall, the curator/archivist of the museum. I thought I knew everyone who would be here."
The redhead smiled at her and held out his hand. "Horatio and this is my companion Tim."
"Pleasure to meet you," Tim nodded. "It's a beautiful museum. Really shows the history of the two families."
"Thank you," Elizabeth beamed with pride. "How do you know them?"
Horatio smiled at Tim, "Our families go way back."
Tim snickered. "Do you know what's behind the curtain?"
"No. And it's driving me crazy," she laughed. "Eric Speedle designed it, something about a family story, the history of its roots."
Horatio scanned the room his eyes falling on an older gentleman talking with a small group. "He is a credit to his name."
"According to the history, he's named after Speedle Sr.'s best friend who died on the Titanic." Elizabeth glanced over to Eric talking with his son and daughter-in-law.
"Have you been told the story of that voyage?" Tim asked.
"About how Calleigh and Tim met?" Elizabeth responded. "Yes, it's a beautiful story, much better than the Hollywood version."
"Everyone!" Eric called out. "Can I have everyone's attention?" Elizabeth turned and moved closer to the crowd. "I want to thank you all for coming tonight. It means a lot to me and my father that so many of our dear friends are here." There was a short applause. "Tonight, I dedicate this museum to two people my family have held dear in our hearts. If it wasn't for these two people, I for one wouldn't be here. They gave this family their chance to thrive and do something." Eric paused, tears in his eyes.
"Eric?" Tim Speedle Jr. stood up. "You want me to continue?"
"No pa, I'm fine." He smiled through the tears. "This story was told to me by my grandfather. Every year on April 15th, on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, he would sit the kids, grandkids, and even great grandkids down and tell us a true love story."
He looked out into the crowd his eyes locking onto the back corner. He smiled and continued on. "It's not the story of my grandparents but instead of two lovers, who met, fell in love, and never let go of each other. It starts in Liverpool, England...."
~ April 10th ~
"Come on Eric," Tim Speedle turned and looked at his friend. "We're going to be late."
"It's not going anywhere." Eric ran catching up. "See she's still in the harbor."
Tim moved through the crowds. "I can't believe we got tickets on the Titanic."
"It will be good to get back to America," Eric agreed as they ran up the boarding planks. "So what room are we in?"
"Third class, G deck or something, number 15," Tim read the ticket. "Basically a step above the rats."
"So nothing new there," Eric laughed as they ran down the hallway.
~ * ~
Calleigh Duquesne looked up at the looming ship. "It's big."
"Largest ship ever made," Ryan answered her as he followed her out of the car. "Come on sis, don't look so glum."
"Have you met him?" Calleigh responded back.
"Calleigh," Ryan sighed.
"I know, I know, I'm doing this for us." Calleigh put on a brave smile. "There's Mr. Caine."
"Calleigh, Ryan, I'm glad to see you have arrived safely," Mr. Caine held his hand out to the young blonde woman. "Miss Woods could you please make sure everything is taken care of?"
"Sure honey," she smiled and began ordering around the porter. "Be careful with that, its valuable."
"You don't look happy Miss Duquesne?" Caine questioned.
"Oh, Horatio, you've taken good care of Ryan and I... It's just..." she gave him a sad smile. "Richard isn't a very caring man."
"You do not have to go through with it," Horatio pointed out. "My offer still stands."
Calleigh smiled brightly at him. "Thank you, my dear Horatio, but I can't rely on you all the time."
"I'm your godfather, it's my job to take care of you, and I'm willing to help. You don't have to marry Stetler just to save your family." Horatio stopped and forced her look at him. "I will always be here for you."
Calleigh kissed him on the cheek, "You're a good man."
~ April 11th ~
Tim leaned on the railing just looking out towards the ocean. Eric frowned seeing his friend in a contemplative mood. He walked over and leaned back against the railing, his eyes scanning the passengers. "Penny for your thoughts," he glanced at his friend.
"Just wondering what will happen when we dock in New York," Tim sighed.
"Everything will be fine, you'll see. A whole new life..." Eric looked up and his jaw dropped at the sight. "Now that's beautiful."
Tim rolled his eyes and turned around mimicking his friend's position. His eyes moved from the blonde to the redhead. "I'll say."
Eric smacked him. "God, you see a redhead and flip."
"You pointed him out," Tim commented.
"No," Eric glared. "I pointed out the woman next to him."
Tim looked back up at the young woman. "She is pretty."
"Pretty? She's beautiful." Eric smiled brightly.
"No chance in hell," Tim pointed out, turning back around to look out towards the ocean, missing the appreciative look from the redhead.
"Well you might get lucky," Eric smirked. "The redhead's checking you out."
"Is not." Tim turned and glared at Eric.
"Oh really," Eric nodded towards the upper deck.
Tim turned around, his eyes catching the redhead. The redhead smiled just before turning his attention towards the blonde. "Damn."
"Go talk to him," Eric pushed.
"Let's point a few things out shall we. He's upper class ... I'm not. He's a gentleman... I don't own a suit. Not going to happen." Tim pushed off the railing and walked off, not noticing the piercing blue eyes following him.
~ Evening ~
Horatio found himself leaning against the same railing as the dark haired beauty he had seen earlier. He had felt stifled in the ballroom. Watching Rick Stetler parade Calleigh around like she was a trophy irritated him to no end. He wished Calleigh would just let him take care of her and Ryan, but the woman was stubborn.
He sighed and leaned onto the railing watching the dark water churn. "Please don't jump. I really don't feel like diving in, and knowing my luck they'll say I pushed you." Horatio turned around found himself staring into dark eyes.
"No plans to jump, though the pushing someone over isn't a bad thought." Horatio leaned against the railing.
"I saw nothing and know nothing." The stranger smiled. "Timothy Speedle."
"Horatio Caine." Horatio held out his hand, and admired Tim's firm grip.
"Friends call me Speed." Speed stepped back smiling.
"Like fast things?" Horatio asked.
"It was more like I couldn't sit still as a kid, always going from one place to the next, and usually in a hurry," Speed said. "Add it with my last name."
"I can see that," Horatio nodded. "What brings you out here?"
"Nice night." Speed looked up at the stars. "It was loud and rambunctious down in the decks, decided to enjoy the night, you?"
"Loud and obnoxious person," Horatio grinned. "It was either leave, or toss him over."
"Well I'll let you get back to your plotting," Speed smiled as he turned.
"Speed," Horatio called after him.
"Yes." Speed looked over at him.
Horatio ran a hand through his hair, "Stay ..." He paused as a group of men were walking by, who had obviously been drinking. One of them knocked into Horatio. "Excuse me."
"You spilt my drink." The man slurred. "I demand an apology."
Horatio turned away, disgusted by the alcohol that reeked from the man. "I'm sorry," he said through gritted teeth.
"You're not...you and your fancy clothes... you look down at us people." The drunk pushed against Horatio.
Speed stepped forward, "I suggest you keep moving."
"Not till I say what I have to say!" The drunk swayed. "You rich know it alls... always walking on us good people..."
"Sir," Horatio pushed him away. "I would appreciate it if you would leave."
"SEE!" He stepped back. "Just push us around." The drunk took a swing at Horatio; his hand was caught mid air and swung around.
"HEY!" Drunk #2 stepped into the foray.
Speed pushed the first guy into his friend, both stumbling away. He was so intent on keeping the other two away from Horatio that he missed the third.
"Speed!" Horatio moved towards the young man.
Speed turned the side of his head taking the full impact of the wine bottle. He instinctively jerked his elbow back connecting with the assailant's nose. Horatio quickly moved to his side pulling him away from the attacker.
"What's going on?" A ship officer ran up glaring at Speed. "I will not having fighting on this ship."
Horatio glared at the officer. "These men started it, Mr. Speedle was defending himself and I."
The ship officer looked at the three drunks. "He broke my nose."
"Probably deserved it," the officer commented as he pushed the injured man down the deck. "All of you get lost and sober up."
"Horatio!" Calleigh called out as she ran down the stairs. "Oh my God, are you injured?"
Horatio shook his head. "No, Speed is the one bleeding."
"Speed?" Calleigh asked confused.
"Hanging out with riff raff Caine?" Stetler asked.
"For your information I was walking when I was accosted by three men. Mr. Speedle stepped in to stop them, and ended up injured." Horatio glared at Stetler.
"Isn't that nice," Stetler rolled his eyes.
Horatio helped Speed sit down. "Let me look at him," Alexx Woods stepped up. "Honey, can you look at me." Speed looked up, his face contorted in pain. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
Speed looked at her hand then at her, "Two. I don't have a concussion, a headache though."
Alexx pulled his hand away from the wound. "Let's get you to the infirmary and get that cleaned up. You should be fine tomorrow."
Speed stood up and let Alexx lead him away. "Mr. Speedle, since you rescued our dear Horatio, join us for dinner tomorrow?"
Speed looked over at Horatio and with a grin he said, "I would be honored." Alexx pulled him away and into the ship.
"There's blood on your suit," Stetler pointed out.
"I'm going to my rooms," Horatio grabbed Speed's jacket and left everyone on the deck.
~ April 12th ~
"You met the blonde and didn't tell me?" Eric glared at his friend.
"I'm telling you now," Speed pointed out. "Besides I didn't really meet her. She came up afterwards."
"After you were flirting with the redhead," Eric pointed out.
"I wasn't flirting." Speed said.
"Really..." Eric looked up to see the blonde walking towards them. "How do I look?"
"Like you're in third class." Speed shook his head. "Besides she's probably just..."
"Mr. Speedle," Calleigh smiled at him.
Speed turned towards her. "Ma'am?"
"It's Calleigh Duquesne. I just wanted to thank you for helping Mr. Caine last night," she said.
"Calleigh!" Rick Stetler walked up glaring at the two men. "You should not be on these decks alone."
"I'm fine Richard," Calleigh sighed, her hand on her forehead. "I was just thanking Mr. Speedle..."
"Oh yes, Mr. Speedle." Rick eyed the man. "You are coming to dinner tonight, so we can thank you properly."
"Yes," Speed nodded, not liking the man.
Rick pulled Calleigh away from them and began to walk away. He paused and turned back. "Bring your friend," he said as he walked off.
"Who was that?" Eric practically growled, not liking how he treated Calleigh.
"Someone who needs to be tossed overboard," Speed said.
"Calleigh," Eric grinned. "Pretty name."
Speed shook his head as he moved down the deck. "So what do you want to do when we get back to New York?"
"Have lunch at that deli on 5th Street," Eric said.
"In the old neighborhood?" Speed asked.
"Yeah, remember the roast beef? And the creampuffs?" Eric sighed happily.
"Always thinking with your stomach," Speed said.
"Mr. Speedle," a soft voice interrupted them.
Speed turned, his eyes lighting up, "Miss Woods."
"Alexx," she smiled at him.
"Then call me Speed," he said.
"I just wanted to check if you're okay," she cupped his chin, moving it so she could have a better look at the bruise.
"It's better. Thank you for that ointment you gave me, it was wonderful," Speed assured her.
"Honey, I know your type bites through the pain because it's not manly to show it," Alexx eyed him. "It seems to be healing nicely." She turned towards Eric. "Did he rest last night?"
Eric nodded not quite sure what to make of the woman. "Yes ma'am."
"If you don't mind me asking," Speed leaned back against the railing they were near. "How does a servant know so much about medicine?"
"My grandpa was a healer, Cherokee," Alexx answered. "My husband, God rest his soul, actually was a doctor. He worked out in the ghetto neighborhoods, got him killed to."
"I'm sorry," Speed squeezed her hand.
"Don't worry honey, Mr. Caine takes good care of me. Though he needs someone to take care of him," she pointedly looked at Speed.
Speed looked down. "Mr. Caine can take care of himself."
Alexx tipped his chin up smiling at him, "This is the first time in years I've seen him genuinely smile. You put that there, thank you."
Speed blushed; trying to look away his eyes caught sight of Horatio heading their way. Speed smiled at the redhead, pleased to see him.
Alexx turned to see Horatio walking up. His eyes were focused on Speed alone. Alexx smiled, "Horatio how are you this morning?"
He turned his focus on Alexx, "Good. I was just taking a stroll when I saw you checking on Mr. Speedle."
"Speed, please I hate Mr. Speedle." Speed grinned.
"As long as you call me Horatio," Horatio said.
"Horatio, this is my friend Eric Delko," Speed motioned towards Eric.
"Pleasure," Horatio held his hand out.
Eric took it with a smile, "Speeds' talked about you."
"Eric!" Speed glared at his friend.
Eric just smiled, "All good."
Speed grumbled about throwing a half Russian overboard, "Is everything all right after last night?"
"Fine," Horatio smiled. "I was wondering if you would take a stroll with me, finish our conversation from last night."
Eric nudged Speed forward, "He would love to."
Speed's eyes narrowed at a grinning Eric; he turned towards Horatio, "Sure."
Alexx smiled as she watched the two men walk off talking softly. "I really haven't seen him that relaxed in a long time."
"Me either," Eric looked over at Alexx and held out his arm. "Will the fine lady grant this humble man an escort to lunch?"
Alexx shook her head, "Stop." She took his arm. "I would be honored."
"Here put this on," Speed handed Eric a suit.
"Where did you get this?" Eric asked. "And your small stroll turned into a," he pulled out his watch. "Six hour hike around the ship?"
Speed glared at him. "We had lunch on the deck and talked about Renaissance art."
"That's all you did?" Eric asked as he got ready.
"Get your mind out of the gutter," Speed said. "He was kind enough to let us borrow the suits. I guess his ward Ryan Duquesne, is about your size."
"Calleigh's brother?" Eric asked.
"Yes, the twit you saw earlier, Richard, is her fiancée." Speed looked in the small mirror. "No matter how you dress the street rat, he's still a street rat."
"Speed." Eric turned and looked at his friend. "Don't do that."
"Do what?" Speed shrugged fastening up the last buttons. "Tell the truth. It doesn't matter how fancy the suit. I'm still a bastard son, nothing but a street rat."
"Horatio doesn't think so," Eric pointed out.
"To him I'm just a poor, working class nobody," Speed muttered fiddling with the tie.
"I don't believe that," Eric took the tie out of Speed's hands and started to tie it.
"Eric, nothing will come of this." Speed looked over Eric's shoulder. "He has duties, and I have my place in life. This moment, this ship, will be all that we will ever have."
Eric stepped back, "You don't..."
"I do." Speed jerked away from Eric and walked out the door. Eric grabbed his jacket and followed him.
Before the appetizer had been served Eric had decided Richard Stetler needed to die, a slow, painful death, and soon. He treated Calleigh like she was a simple child, talking down to her, and parading her around like some object. Speed had to practically sit on Eric a few times, to keep him quiet.
Richard smiled at Speed, "Tell me Mr. Speedle, how is third class?"
Horatio glared at him, but Speed smiled. "Very nice actually, not a rat in sight."
"Until now," Eric added under his breath. Speed hid his smirk behind his cup.
"What brings you to New York?" Ryan asked curiously.
"Death in the family," Speed answered.
"I'm sorry," Calleigh said.
"Thank you," Speed smiled at her. "We figured it was time to go home."
"You and Mr. Delko travel a lot together?" Stetler asked, eyebrow raised. Everyone understood his innuendo.
Speed grinned, "All the time. Sometimes we even share a bed just to save the expense."
Eric rolled his eyes shaking his head. "We grew up in the same neighborhood."
"Isn't that nice, street rats that stick together," Stetler set his glass down. "Well Calleigh dear, you should probably run off and let the men talk."
Calleigh nodded at the men at the table, "Gentlemen."
"Miss Duquesne, if your brother and guardian don't mind I'll escort you back since I doubt I could keep up with the talk of gentlemen," Eric suggested as he stood.
Stetler growled but was interrupted by Horatio, "Thank you, Eric; I would feel better knowing she was escorted safely."
Eric held his arm out, "Miss."
"Thank you," Calleigh took his arm and the two walked away from the table.
Speed watched the two leave a small smile on his face. He turned back to the table and started to rise. "If you excuse me gentlemen..."
"Leaving so soon Mr. Speedle," Stetler looked up at him. "I thought you could dazzle us with your heroic story of saving Horatio."
"It wasn't much, just right place, right time," he bowed his head. "I thank you for inviting me. It is probably best if I ..."
"Yes, it probably would be best, wouldn't want you to feel uncomfortable." Stetler lit up a cigar, blowing smoke towards Speed.
"Mr. Caine, Mr. Duquesne, I thank you for a pleasant evening," Speed left the table.
Horatio stood up glaring at Stetler, "You are such an ass."
"Why Horatio, didn't realize you liked the scruffy looking type." Stetler glared back.
Horatio followed Speed out of the dining room. Ryan leaned back in his chair and stared at Stetler. "Mr. Duquesne it seems we are the only gentlemen left."
"Actually the true gentlemen left the table already," Ryan stood up and left.
~ April 13th ~
"So did you take the long route back to her quarters?" Speed grinned at Eric. "Since you got in around two in the morning."
Eric grinned. "We just sat on deck and talked Renaissance art."
"Bastard," Speed threw a pillow at him. "What did you do?"
"We talked," Eric sat down on the bed. "She's smart, witty. Her family is from New Orleans, they even have a plantation down there."
"Why is she marrying that ..." Speed asked.
"Bastard?" Eric growled. "Her father drank away their inheritance and now she and Ryan have nothing. If it wasn't for Mr. Caine they would have probably been thrown into the streets. He's been taking care of them, helping Ryan get his degree in medicine. This is the tail end of a graduation present to Ryan, a month tour through Europe."
"So if the family is being taken care of by Horatio, why Stetler?"
"Calleigh is as stubborn as you are," Eric eyed Speed. "She doesn't want to burden Horatio anymore, and doesn't want Ryan to feel obligated to take care of her."
"And let me guess, Stetler proposed and he's got old money. Oh and wait he promised to rebuild the plantation." Speed leaned back against the wall.
"Yep," Eric sighed. "She deserves so much better."
"Let her go, Eric." Speed frowned. "You know there's no chance, right?"
"There's always a chance." Eric stood up and pulled the door open. "I'm not you." He left the room and slammed the door behind him.
"You look like the weight of the world is on your shoulders," Horatio sat down next to Speed.
Speed looked up from his book and smiled. "Just the ship's."
Horatio grinned. "Want to talk about it?"
"Not really." Speed closed the book and set it down. "How are you this afternoon?"
"Good, now that I found you. You're a hard man to find," Horatio said.
Speed blushed lightly. "Why were you looking for me?"
"Thought we could have dinner," Horatio suggested.
Speed cringed lightly. "No offense but I don't think..."
"In my room," Horatio interrupted. Speed looked over at him, brown staring into blue. "Please."
"Yes." Speed whispered.
"I'm sorry," Eric slumped down next to Speed.
"You're forgiven." Speed didn't look up. "And I'm sorry, too."
"Well you were right," Eric sighed. "I can't offer her anything."
Speed looked over at his friend. "I was wrong. You can offer her so much more than Richard Stetler. You can offer her love, true companionship, and your heart. Those are more important than money or prestige."
Eric looked at his friend, forehead furrowed, "Speed?"
"For once in my life I'm taking the chance," Speed smiled at him. "Don't be me."
Speed looked around the stateroom impressed. "A lot bigger than my room."
"Really," Horatio smiled.
Speed rolled his eyes. "Let's se,e my room is half the size of your living room."
"Still not that bad is it?" Horatio poured them each a glass of wine.
"No, I've had worse," Speed shrugged. "At the orphanage I got a cot."
Horatio frowned, "Orphanage?"
"My mother died when I was five. They stuck me in an orphanage; it's where I met Eric," Speed said.
"Your father?" Horatio asked handing him the glass of wine.
Speed tensed, "Wasn't around."
Horatio dropped the subject. "So you and Eric?"
"I beat up the seven year old that was picking on him," Speed grinned. "Of course he'll tell you different. We were fast friends, haven't parted since."
"When did you leave the orphanage?" Horatio sat down on the couch, motioning for Speed to sit.
"As soon as we were able to," Speed said. "We were ten and working the streets."
"How did you end up traveling?" Horatio asked.
"We needed to leave," Speed looked away. "We pissed off the wrong street gang, been bumming around Europe for three years."
"You said there was a death in the family?" Horatio remembered the dinner conversation the night before.
Speed set the wine glass down. "I don't really want to talk about it."
"Sorry," Horatio frowned.
Speed stood up, a hand running through his hair. "It's just ..."
Horatio slipped his arms around him pulling Speed to him. "It's okay." He kissed the dark hair and pulled away. "Dinner?"
Speed turned in his arms, "Later." He took Horatio's mouth in a passionate kiss. Horatio's hand slipped down his back, pulling the younger man tight against him. Horatio gasped as Speed's erection rubbed against his own. The young man took advantage and deepened the kiss tangling with the slick tongue.
Horatio pulled back panting lightly. He took Speed's hand and led him into the bedroom. Closing the door behind him he stood in the middle of the room just looking at the beauty in front of him. Speed dropped his head and eyes in embarrassment from the heated look he was getting from Horatio.
Horatio moved across the room and cupped Speed's face, lifting it so he could look him in the eyes. "I want to see you, taste you, feel you." Speed shivered from the hot breath against his ear, "I want to bury myself deep inside of you."
"Please..." Speed moaned. His eyes closed, body tight with anticipation.
It didn't take long for Horatio to get them both stripped and onto the bed. He had Speed moaning in pleasure and begging for release in no time. As he slipped into his lover, Horatio for the first time in his life felt whole. The two set an easy rhythm sending them both to ecstasy, screaming out each others' names as they came.
Horatio collapsed down next to the younger man. Speed turned towards him with tears in his eyes, and kissed him softly. Horatio pulled back, concern showing as he wiped away the tears.
Speed laid a finger on his lips to keep him from asking, "I love you."
Horatio smiled down at him. "I love you, too."
Speed fell into a light slumber, feeling safe and secure in Horatio's arms. The older man held his lover close to him, and followed him into slumber.
~ April 14th ~
Speed shifted curling deeper into the covers. A slight chuckle forced him to pop his head out of the cocoon of warmth. "What?"
"Comfortable?" Horatio teased from the chair near by.
"Yes, but I would be more comfortable if my pillow came back." Speed smiled at him.
"I have breakfast with Calleigh and Ryan; you are welcome to join us," Horatio suggested as he stood and slipping on his coat.
"Can I stay here?" Speed asked curling back under the covers. "Cotton sheets and soft blankets are a rarity."
Horatio's heart panged at the wistful tone. "I'll be back in a few. Keep the bed warm for me." He laughed realizing Speed had fallen back to sleep. He leaned over and kissed the unruly black hair.
Stepping out of the bedroom he was surprised to run into Alexx. She just smiled at him and waved him off. "I'll look after your boy."
Speed blinked at the sunlight, wondering how it got into his tiny stateroom. He shifted and paused, with a smile he stretched relishing in every twinge of soreness over his body. Last night came back to him in flashes. The first time Horatio entered him. The feeling of completeness he had felt, and then later that night, the wonderment as he entered Horatio.
He looked around the bedroom wondering where Horatio was, vaguely remembering something about breakfast. He quickly dressed and headed out of the bedroom only to be stopped short by a grinning Alexx Woods.
"About time you got up." Alexx grinned.
Speed blushed, "I was tired."
"Wore you out did he baby," Alexx smirked as Speed's blush deepened. "He told me to let you know he'll be on the aft deck later this afternoon."
Speed nodded still blushing as he left the room. He thanked every deity out there that Eric wasn't in the room when he got back. He didn't think he could face his friend with a sappy grin on his face.
For the first time he had hoped that maybe something would work out for him. That he could actually have a chance at a happy life. He would tell Horatio about his father and everything that it represented. He didn't delude himself into thinking that they could be open, but maybe just maybe there could be a chance for the two of them.
~ Evening ~
He found Horatio leaning on the railing just looking out towards the ocean. "Please don't jump. I really don't want to go in after you, and knowing my luck they'll say I pushed you."
Horatio turned and smiled brightly. "Not going to jump, push someone overboard..."
"I'll help," Speed laughed as he joined him on the railing. "Missed you this morning."
"You were snuggled pretty far under those covers." Horatio grinned. "I was waiting for you this afternoon."
"I had some thinking to do," Speed looked down. "There's something I want to tell you."
"HORATIO!!" Calleigh cried as she ran up to the two men.
"Calleigh," Horatio held her. "What's wrong?"
"Richard...he's gone mad," she cried. "I... I told him I couldn't marry him, that I didn't love him...and..."
Horatio breathed a sigh of relief, "What did he do?"
"He struck me," Calleigh cried.
"WHAT!?" Horatio growled out. "How dare he..."
"It's not me I'm worried about. He had Eric arrested, saying he stole from him. He didn't, I was with him..." She paused. "But they don't believe me..."
Horatio looked up to see Speed taking off towards the inside of the ship. He grabbed Calleigh and followed the young man. Horatio paused outside his suites. Speed was in a heated argument with Stetler.
"Speed..." Horatio pulled the young man back. "Go find Eric and I'll take care of this."
Speed nodded and left the rooms. Horatio turned on Stetler. Before he could open his mouth Horatio had the ex- fiancée up against the wall. "Listen and listen well. You will explain to the Steward that there was a misunderstanding and have Eric released. And you will stay away from my family. If I find you even within ten yards of Calleigh I will toss you off this ship." He slammed him harder against the wall. "DO I make myself clear?"
Stetler pushed him away. He glared as he straightened his clothes. "Fine, wallow in filth with the riff raff. Tell me, did lover boy tell you he's the heir to the Speedle fortunes." Horatio paused. "I guess not. He's John Speedle's bastard son. He got some whore pregnant and when his little socialite wife died in birth, never produced a legit heir."
Horatio smiled, "SO that means that street rat has more money than you."
Stetler frowned. "He's the bastard son of a whore; he will never be one of us."
"That's where you're wrong," Horatio stepped into Stetler's space. "I'm glad he's not one of us. He's a pure soul with a heart of gold."
"That's rich, Horatio Caine in love with a street rat, a male one at that. Wait till the folks back home find out." Stetler pushed past Horatio and out of the room.
"Come on Calleigh, lets go get Eric," Horatio grabbed her hand as they headed down the hallway.
"He's good for you," Calleigh smiled at him.
"And Eric's good for you," Horatio grinned back.
Horatio could hear the arguing from down the hall. He sprinted towards the Steward's office, concerned as the yelling got louder.
He turned into the office and was appalled to see Speed handcuffed to the pipe. "What is going on?"
The Steward turned towards Horatio, "Nothing to concern you sir. Just some riff raff causing problems."
"It does concern me, when I sent the young man down here to talk to you about releasing Mr. Delko." Horatio got into the Stewards face. "Mr. Stetler made a mistake and sends his apologies..."
The ship lurched, followed by a loud groaning of metal against metal. Horatio caught Calleigh and braced himself against the wall. The ship came to a stop, the silence eerie. The Steward took off out of room and down the hall.
"HEY!" Speed yelled out. "Horatio?"
Horatio moved across the room and to the desk, searching for the keys. He grinned when he held up the set of keys. "Let's get you out of here. Then we go find Eric, do you know where he is?"
"There's a smaller room used as a brig, up the hallway a bit." Speed explained.
"You know this how?" Horatio asked with a smile.
Speed looked at him. "I heard Eric in there when I went by."
"I believe you," Horatio said as they headed down the stairs. Horatio opened the door and cringed at the black eye Eric was sporting.
Calleigh ran and fell into Eric's arms. "Eric, are you alright?" She pulled back cupping his cheek.
He smiled down at her. "I'm okay."
"He's had worse," Speed grinned from the door. "We should leave before the Steward comes back."
"What happened anyway?" Eric asked as they headed down the hallway.
"I don't know," Horatio shrugged.
The level of activity skyrocketed as they got closer to the deck of the ship. Speed glanced around the deck taking in the activity. Horatio grabbed the nearest officer. "Sir?"
"Mr. Caine," the Officer smiled.
"What's going on?" Horatio asked, looking around.
"Nothing to really worry about sir, right now they just want everyone on deck prepared," the Officer explained. "I would suggest getting a life jacket for the young lady and yourself."
"The ship is sinking?" Calleigh asked, fear in her voice.
"Just precautions ma'am, we'll have you back in your bed in no time." The Officer walked off.
Horatio looked out onto the deck, dread settling in his stomach. He knew if this ship was sinking not everyone was going to make it off alive. He looked over at Calleigh and Eric, then at Speed. He saw the same worry in Speed's eyes.
"Calleigh, I want you to stay here with Eric. I'm going to go fine Alexx and Ryan." Horatio turned towards Eric. "Get her in a vest."
Eric nodded. He took Calleigh's hand, "Come on lets get you a vest."
Calleigh followed Eric toward the decks. Horatio grabbed Speed's hand and moved back towards the rooms. The two men hurried past scared passengers. Turning the corner they ran into Ryan and Alexx.
"Horatio!" Ryan called out. "What's going on?"
"Something happened," Horatio said. "We need to get out on deck."
"Eric and Calleigh are already out there," Speed explained.
"Come on Alexx," Ryan grabbed her hand and started back down the hallway. He stopped when he realized that the other two weren't with him. "Horatio?"
"Go, I'll be there soon." Horatio smiled at him. Ryan nodded and took off.
Speed watched his lover carefully, "Horatio?"
"I have to do something," Horatio entered the room. Digging through some bags he pulled out a leather journal. Setting it on the desk he pulled out some paper quickly writing a few lines on it then signing it. He folded it, then slipped the paper into the journal.
"The boat is sinking isn't it?" Speed asked sitting down.
"There aren't enough lifeboats for everyone," Horatio pointed out.
Speed nodded. "I need to go to my room, there's something I have to get."
"Let's go," Horatio tucked the journal into the back of his pants covering it with his jacket.
By the time they arrived back on the deck, panic was starting to set in. The Titanic was sinking. Horatio pushed through the crowds looking for his family. He found them near the back waiting for one of the boats to be lowered.
"Horatio, thank God you're here." Calleigh hugged him. "We can ..."
Horatio cupped Calleigh's cheek, kissing her forehead softly. "I'm not going."
"No..." Calleigh cried. "Horatio..."
Horatio turned towards Ryan, pulling out the journal and handing it to him. "Don't open it till later. Take care of your sister. Sir!" Horatio looked at the Officer taking care of the evacuations. "He's my only heir, please let him go with his sister."
The Officer nodded understanding the situation. "Get on board now sir, ma'am."
Eric began to step back away from Calleigh handing her to Ryan. "NO!" Calleigh held onto Eric's hand. "I won't lose you too."
Speed pushed Eric forward towards the boat. He slipped a piece of paper into Eric's jacket pocket. "Get on..."
"Speed..." Eric turned towards him.
"No, Eric. Take this chance. Live the life we dreamed of." Speed smiled at his friend. "I'm giving you my future."
Eric's hand rested over his heart, where a sheet of paper would change everything. "But..."
Speed hugged his friend, the tears in his eyes. "Love her and live."
He pulled back and pushed him forward until Eric had no choice but to climb into the lifeboat. Calleigh fell into his arms crying, Ryan holding onto the journal with a death grip. Horatio and Speed watched as the boat was lowered to the water below.
"Name your first kid after me!" Speed grinned down at Eric.
"I'm you now!" Eric laughed through tears.
"JUNIOR!" Speed waved at him, too choked up by emotions.
Horatio took Speed's hand and pulled him away from the railing. Their family was safe.
~ Present ~
Eric Speedle wiped away the tears on his face. "They sat in that small lifeboat watching in horror as the ship sank. They never saw them again."
Elizabeth wiped the tears away from her own eyes. "What was in the journal? And what did Speed slip into Eric's pocket."
Eric smiled at her. "The journal was Alexx's sketch book. Horatio knew they would never let Alexx on a lifeboat so he made sure a part of her lived on. Inside was his will and testimony. He named Ryan his heir, as long as Ryan took the Caine name."
"As for the piece of paper," Tim Speedle Jr. stood up. "It was the letter from John Speedle's lawyer, telling Tim about his inheritance." He looked at everyone. "You see Tim Speedle died on the Titanic not Eric Delko. Tim gave Eric his life. All anyone knew was that Timothy Speedle had dark hair and eyes and was raised in St. Anne's Orphanage. Eric knew everything about Speed's life and was able to assimilate the role."
Gasps were heard throughout the room, as the truth was revealed. "Those two men gave this family its start. Ryan took the Caine name and made it great. While my father made sure the Speedle name was held with reverence and remembered for good."
Eric pulled down the sheet, revealing the display. Inside the case the leather journal was displayed, next to it was the letter from the lawyer, on the other side Caine's last will and testimony. Hanging on the wall behind it were various hand drawn sketches. Elizabeth recognized Calleigh Caine, Ryan Caine, and who she thought was Timothy Speedle. She realized now it was actually Eric Delko. Next to them were three drawings; one of an older gentleman sitting in a chair smiling softly, Horatio Caine. The second one was of a young man reading while lounging in a deck chair, the real Timothy Speedle. And the third was of the two men curled around each other lying in bed. It was obvious they were drawn without them aware that they were being watched.
Elizabeth gasped and turned towards the back corner. The two men she had talked to earlier were now looking towards the door. An older black woman stepped up to them. Elizabeth could only watch.
"You sketched us when we were in bed?" Horatio asked smiling.
"You were so beautiful, dark and light," Alexx patted Tim's arm.
Tim leaned against Horatio as his thoughts turned back to that night. Horatio held him close. His eyes closed as they were transported back.
~ April 15th ~
Horatio took Speed's hand and pulled him away from the railing. Their family was safe.
Speed followed him away from the hysteria. He stopped suddenly looking around. "Alexx?"
"She's being taken care of," Horatio pointed Alexx out.
"Who's that man with her?" Speed asked watching as Alexx was being held by a strong black man.
"Her husband," Horatio explained.
Speed gasped and understood. He had come for his wife.
Horatio pulled Speed down the halls holding him close as the ship bucked and dipped. They entered the room where not twenty-four hours earlier they had first loved each other. The room was in shambles, stuff thrown around, furniture tipped over. Horatio slipped off his shoes and climbed into the bed. Speed followed, curling up to him.
"I don't want to die," Speed whispered.
Horatio kissed the top of his head. "I don't want you to die either."
"No matter what," Speed kissed Horatio's neck his hand slipping around the redhead's waist holding him tightly. "I have no regrets."
"I love you," Horatio closed his eyes holding Speed close as he felt the ship begin to dip dangerously.
"I love you, too." Speed settled into his lover's arms and waited for the end. "You'll be there with me on the other side?"
"I'm not letting you go," Horatio vowed.
~ Present ~
"And I haven't yet," Horatio kissed his temple. "They did good."
Tim smiled, "Yes they did."
"Why come forward now?" Someone asked.
"Their story needed to be heard," Tim simply said. He looked towards the back. "When my father died I promised him it would be."
Elizabeth turned once again and watched the couple. She smiled at them and gave them a nod. They waved back and disappeared still wrapped in each others' arms for all eternity.
~ The End ~