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Summary: After a lab accident, Calleigh relies on help from her father, but could it be the last thing she does?

Categories: CSI: Miami - Ship Ahoy! > Calleigh/Horatio
Characters: Alexx Woods, Calleigh Duquesne, Horatio Caine, Other
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Friendship, Hurt Comfort, Pre-relationship, Suspense
Warnings: None
Chapters: 8 [Table of Contents]
Series: None

Word count: 12927; Completed: Yes
Updated: 02 May 2007; Published: 12 Apr 2007

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Chapter: 1 ~ "Aftermath"

Author's Notes: I will get to finishing Love's Burden and Officer Down. Due to real life issues, I've been unable to really have time to write at all... I've been holding onto this, but I figured I might as well post it now while I work on the other stories.


*~*~*


"Hi Dad," Calleigh greeted a bit shakily. "I'm—" she stopped herself knowing that 'fine' wasn't the truth at all. "There was an accident at the lab...an explosion..." Tears stung her eyes once again, and she sniffled to get through the rest. "I was wonderin' if you could pick me up. My car was damaged...and I just wanna go home and sleep..." Normally, she was the one that was the one that drove him home, but she desperately needed his help now.

*Alright, Lambchop. I'll be down to get you.*

Calleigh smiled to herself and shut her cell phone. Looking around, she shivered from the lack of normalcy. She wasn't alone, but she felt it. There were dozens of her colleagues that were just as displaced as she was. Some had been rushed to the hospital and others were being treated basic first aid on site. She had been far enough away that she hadn't been injured much, she had been thrown off balance and had hit the side of her head on a wall, and besides the headache she felt fine.

"Calleigh? Honey? You alright?" Alexx asked as she took a seat next to her friend. She had been luckily unscathed as she had been out on a call at the time. She had been slowly making her way through the chaos, helping where she could, and then checking in on her friends where she found them.

"I...I will be," she responded quietly, not looking up at Alexx. She wrapped her arms around herself and rocked slightly.

Alexx reached out and brushed her friend's blonde hair out of her face, "Honey, do you know what happened to Horatio?" Their boss was the only one that she hadn't been able to find or find information on. She also hadn't seen Frank, but she figured that he would be on his way, since it seemed that Rescue was blocking most traffic into the Crime Lab. "I haven't been able to find him quite yet."

Tears welled up in her eyes, "I-I-I dunno..." What if something had happened to him? She hadn't thought to do a roll call of everyone... Everything was so confusing and had happened so quickly... "I was in ballistics...I haven't seen Horatio since when I came in this mornin'."

"Alright, Calleigh... Honey, you sure you're alright? You seem shaky..." Alexx stated concerned. She put her hand on Calleigh's forehead and then let it slide down to her cheek when it didn't feel too warm to her.

Alexx's hand on her cheek felt cool to her, and she didn't move from it. "I think...I think I'm just a bit shaken..." she tried to reason. Screams for help coming from the building towards those scattered outside drew both women's attentions. Calleigh immediately got to her feet when she noticed that it was Frank Tripp that was yelling for help and Horatio was draped on one side of his body.

"Honey, you sit," Alexx insisted pushing her friend back down. "I'll be right back, ya hear? I'm going to go check on them." She didn't leave Calleigh until she was sure that Calleigh would stay put. She was wondering if perhaps Calleigh needed to be taken to the hospital...but she also knew that the worst cases were already being shipped off.

Calleigh sat where she was, shivering a bit. She sat there watching in the direction Alexx had left in. It was too far though for her to see much of anything, and quickly found herself the target of an EMT who had decided it was her turn to be treated. "I'm fine," she managed to get out.

"Let me determine that." He cleaned her head wound and though it hurt, Calleigh managed to silence voicing any pain. He closed up her wound with a liquid bandaging solution and then wrapped a blanket around her. "You should go along with the next batch."

Shaking her head, she hadn't expected to go to the hospital, "My dad...my dad's comin' to get me." She pulled the blanket tightly around her, feeling the warmth starting to penetrate her body. Calleigh saw he was about to protest when Alexx returned. "How's Horatio?"

"He's going to be fine, Honey...he's just going to need some time to heal." Alexx turned to the EMT and quickly got what he had assessed of Calleigh's situation and that her father was going to pick her up. She watched as the EMT walked off to help another victim, and then knelt down next to her friend, "Honey, do you think this is really the best idea? I mean, most people are going to the hospital... You could have a concussion."

"Sir, you can't park there!"

Kenwall Duquesne was frantically looking for his daughter. He hadn't expected the fire engines and the ambulances in front of the Crime Lab. When they had all come into view, his stomach had twisted. He had left his car parked next to an ambulance and a fire engine intent on finding his daughter. "I'm trying to get to my daughter!" he yelled back at the firefighter who seemed to be in charge of watching the vehicles. He hurried off, not really caring. He was hardly called upon to help his daughter directly. Calleigh hardly called him for anything, and he was going to do this small thing for her. He hurried along, looking over the people sitting outside in various states of being treated. Was Calleigh hurt and she just hadn't told him?

"Calleigh!!!" he started to yell, but stopped when he saw his little girl not too far away. He hurried off towards her and then noticed she was being watched by a woman. "Calleigh, Darlin', you okay?" he asked getting down next to Calleigh. He noticed the sealed wound on her forehead and frowned, "You should see a doctor."

"I tried to tell her," Alexx insisted.

"I'm fine," Calleigh mumbled. "The EMT looked me over..." She looked up at her father and sensed something familiar, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. "I just want to go home, Dad."

"Is it alright if I take her home?" Kenwall asked looking up at Calleigh's friend. He was a bit nervous, but he was determined to help his daughter.

Alexx sighed, she knew that Calleigh would probably at least get to rest that way. "Alright..." she told Calleigh's father and then turned her attention to her friend, "Honey, I'm going to come and check on you later, okay?"

Calleigh nodded and let her father help her to her feet. She kept the grey blanket wrapped tightly around herself and let her father place his arm around her back and carefully guide her away from Alexx and the Crime Lab and back to his vehicle.

"Slowly, Lambchop," Kenwall said quietly as he helped her into the passenger seat of his car. He watched her concerned, and then closed the door once she was completely in. He took a deep breath as he walked around to the driver's side and hoped that he'd be able to manage to do this one thing for his daughter. He gave her a smile as he reached across and helped her with her seatbelt. He could tell that she wasn't completely okay, but he attributed that to the head wound.

"That smell..." Calleigh whispered as she let her head hit the headrest and then slowly roll to the side to stare at her father. She couldn't think though to finish the sentence. Her head was pounding and things were far too jumbled.

Kenwall stared at her for a long minute, and when she didn't finish, he figured that he was okay to go. "You rest... Daddy's gonna get ya home," he said trying to assure not only Calleigh, but himself as well.

*~*~*

Calleigh was asleep in the passenger seat, and Kenwall just stared ahead at the street signs. Where was he supposed to turn? He didn't remember, he had been so nervous up to this point, but he had felt a tad better when his daughter had finally closed her eyes. "This is your chance," he mumbled to himself as he reached into his jacket to pull out a flask, "And you're going to blow it." He took a drink and then sealed it and put it back into his coat. He had been at the bar when Calleigh had called and though he had drank before he had taken the call, he had still felt able to go and pick her up. After all, getting Calleigh from the Crime Lab to her apartment seemed like something fairly easy enough.

Finally, he made a decision and headed with it. He felt like he saw some familiar landmarks, and decided to try that direction. He stopped at a light.

Green.

Kenwall mused at the light. Green. Green just like Calleigh's eyes got sometimes when she would talk to him. He smiled as he sat there ignoring horns as cars sped past. The light changed and Kenwall waited until it was red before pulling into the intersection. He didn't keep an eye out for any incoming vehicles, and just slowly crept through...not wanting to be stopped for speeding and then found out.

He didn't even see the car; it was more like the air around them had attacked the car. Kenwall didn't remember seeing a car, but after his vehicle had stopped spinning, he could see several. One that was pressing very closely to Calleigh and another facing the windshield. Kenwall reached out for Calleigh, but unconsciousness dragged him away and his head to the steering wheel before he could touch her.

*~*~*

TBC...