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A Lover Lost by angelofmercy [ - ]
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Category: CSI: Miami - Slashed > Eric/other male
Characters: Calleigh Duquesne, Eric Delko, Horatio Caine, Original Character, Tim Speedle
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Angst, Drama, Episode Related, Established Relationship, Friendship, Hurt Comfort, Romance
Warnings: Death of canon character

Summary: Something lost, something found. A lover lost into hallowed ground. Yet hope springs eternal. (Just had to add the the last sentence. Always wanted to say that.)





~@&$*$&@~

Things went on as usual at the Miami Dade crime lab, but there was an undercurrent of dread. Timothy Speedle, Speed was dead.

Eric was outside the Miami Dade Crime Lab having a cigarette, trying to lose himself in nicotine-induced euphoria, but could not and this was his third one. He was feeling bad and the cigarettes were not helping at all. He had fallen into a kind of stupor after Speedle's death and smoking helped, but he knew that slowly destroying his lungs wouldn't help, but he couldn't stop either.

"Eric, you smoke?" Calleigh said in shock. She came outside in search of Delko and was astonished to find her coworker smoking a cigarette.

"Yeah, I've been smoking since college, even before that actually. I've been smoking since birth even," Eric said dryly, just bordering on sarcasm.

"Ok, um, yeah. Touché, sourpuss. Horatio sent me to look for you. He wants to talk to you. He says it's important." She said as the other turned to go inside the building. "He's in his office, by the way," She called out just as the door closed behind Eric.

Eric walked inside the building and was about to go straight to his boss's office when he remembered the cigarette, so he found a trash can and but the cigarette out in the can's built in ashtray. After putting out his cigarette, he made his way to his boss's office.

When Eric walked inside his office, Horatio nodded in acknowledgement of the younger man but did not look up from the document that he was reading. He only looked up after having finished reading the paper in his hand.

"Eric, I-" he stopped and sniffed the air, "Eric, you smell like smoke." Horatio said while giving the half-Russian one of the piercing glares that he was so good at giving.

"Yeah, I know. I just needed a cigarette today, H." Eric replied even though Horatio didn't ask a question.

"You smoke? Since when?" Horatio queried.

Eric smirked before responding and taking a seat in a chair in front of his boss's desk. "Now you sound like Calleigh. She said you wanted to see me. What's up, H?"

"I just needed a question answered and I was wondering if you could help, seeing as it concerns you... and Speed." Horatio added with a trace of sadness.

"What about me and Speed?" Eric said with an uncharacteristic hardness in his voice.

Horatio countered with another question. "How close were you and Speed, Eric?"

"That's it. Is that the only reason you called me to your office? You want to know how close I was to Speed." Eric laughed bitterly. "You want how close I was to my best friend? What kind of question is that?"

"A valid one, since he seemed to be in love with you." Horatio said as he handed Eric the piece of paper he had been reading. It was a letter, written by Tim, to Eric.

Eric stared at the piece of paper in shock, then looked up at the older man incredulously, but remained silent.

Eric's surprised expression told him nothing, so Horatio continued, "He asked me to give this to you before he died, but I was curious, so I took a peek. I was amazed when I read the first line. As you can see, it says, 'Hey Eric, just letting you know that I love you babe.'. I continues to relay that message and also to apologize for something. Do you know what he's apologizing for Eric, because it isn't mentioned in the letter."

Horatio kept talking but Eric never heard him. He stared at the thin leaf of paper in hands and sniffed as he read Speed's apology. Tears started to run down his face as he read how much Tim loved him and couldn't live without him. By the time he got to the end, he was shaking and his nose had started to run. When he finished reading, he folded the letter and placed on Horatio's desk before standing up and walking out the office door.

Horatio watched the CSI with eyes filled with concern as tears ran, but the concern changed into full out alarm when Eric started shaking. When Eric got up and left, Horatio followed. He found the younger man in a corner of the locker room, sobbing into his knees where sat on the floor.

"Eric?" Horatio called out quietly, trying not to frighten the young man. A loud sniff, followed by a muffled sob were his only reactions from the man on the floor. He took slow steps towards Eric, all the while calling his name softly.

"Leave me alone," Eric barely whispered.

Horatio was shocked at the sorrow in the usually upbeat CSI's voice. "Eric, what's wrong? Are you alright?" Horatio questioned gently. "Do you want me to take you home?"

"No, I'll be fine. I just need some time to myself right now, okay. Could you just leave me alone for a while. Please Horatio." Eric pleaded on the brink of tears again. "Just give a few minutes and I'll be okay."

"Eric I don't think that's the best thing to do right now, so I'm taking you home and don't you dare make an objection or I'll make you see the station's psychiatrist."

"Fine, I'll go home, but I am coming back to work tomorrow." Eric said as firmly as possible before his boss could protest.

Horatio stretched out a hand to Eric. Eric took it and accepted the help gratefully.

Horatio walked out of the lab to the parking lot after Eric collected his things and washed his face. Tears were not exactly the best thing to have on your face when you were trying to avoid having to see the station's psychiatrist.

The ride to Eric's apartment was spent in silence, with neither one of the occupants of the hummer ready to break the tense quiet that had settled as soon as they got onto the highway. Finally, Horatio decided to put an end to the stillness by asking a question. "How long were you two together?"

"A year and a half." Eric muttered.

"Did you love him back?"

"...I did, but now I'm not so sure."

"Why was he apologizing?"

"He...he...he," Eric stammered in a shaky voice.

"It's okay, you can tell me," Horatio said placing a tentative hand on the younger man's thigh while still driving.

Eric sighed and began again. "He broke up with me after he found me in someone else's arms, but that's not what he's apologizing for."

"Whose arms would those have been?" Horatio asked, deciding to let the CSI take his time.

"My current boyfriend, Chris's arms." Eric sighed.

"What happened?" Horatio asked after a moment of silence.

"Speed and I had had an argument and he slapped me across my face, then he just ran out and left me in the apartment, sitting on the floor." Seeing his friend's confused expression, Eric explained, "When he hit me I staggered back, tripped and fell on my butt."

"Oh, what about after that?" Horatio quieried.

"I sat there for a while, with my cheek stinging, and just stared at a spot on the floor. After a while, the shock wore off and I called Chris and told him what happened. He came over and we talked. He was really sweet about the whole thing. He told me that if I really loved Speed, then we could work through it and he said that if I ever needed a place to stay, that I could always crash with him. I hugged him and cried a little and that's how Speed found us." Eric smiled before somewhat bitterly, "I guess it looked really sexual, since my shirt was riding up and the pants I was wearing rode pretty low."

"What had the fight been about?"

"Chris. Speed thought that we were way too close. Just like if I was dating some girl and she saw me with Calleigh or Valera, she might get jealous. He had nothing to worry about. We hadn't had any romantic feelings up until now." The young man took a deep breathe before continuing. "Chris and I have been friends since kindergarten and only started dating recently, but I feel like this could be a long term thing."

"That's good. Well, here we are Eric."

"Thanks Horatio, I really appreciate it," Eric said, both occupants knowing that he meant 'thank you' for more than the ride.

Eric got out of the Hummer, walked up to his apartment building and was about to go through the door but stopped when a voice called out his name. It was Chris. He turned to see his tall, muscled, dark featured and dark skinned lover walking towards him, his eyes focused only on Eric, not the giant vehicle parked a ways away. Eric stood and waited until Chris came to him.

Chris walked up to his lover and was about to tease, but stopped as he saw his love's red rimmed eyes and opted to just hug his lover instead. Everyone involved directly and indirectly (Horatio) liked this idea better. The two young men embraced for a long moment until Eric pulled back and whispered something into the other man's ear. He turned and pointed towards the Hummer and waved. Chris waved as well and smiled gratefully. Horatio waved back and started up the large automobile as the lovers ventured into the building.

Horatio felt that Eric would be safe, but knew that he would probably be checking up on this Chris person just to make sure. He was happy for the youngest member of his team and wished him all the best.

~@&$*$&@~

Author's note: I did not describe Chris in too much detail because I wasn't sure whom Delko would look good with so I left it at the vague detail. I chose to leave out Ryan because I don't really think he or Alexx needed to be mentioned in the story. If it sucks sorry. I know it's a little OOC and the POV is strange, but I'm not really sure how to fix it.