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Ilias by CSI Ballistics [ - ]
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Category: CSI: Miami - Ship Ahoy! > Calleigh/Horatio
Characters: Calleigh Duquesne, Horatio Caine
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Drama, Hurt Comfort
Warnings: None

Summary: Elizabeth's little boy refused to give without a fight... DuCaine /Sequel to: Secrets, Lies, and Goodbyes/





(`. _ .`. DEDICATED TO LITTLE ILIAS .`. _ .)

December 13th, 2007
- February 23th, 2008

This piece of fan-fiction was mainly written as a dedication and in memory of little Ilias up there in Heaven, who died fighting for a life like a warrior.

________________________________________

BETA READ by Lady Anemone & Queen Sunstar

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Chapter 1: (TRISTAN) ILIAS – part 1

Every time I try to talk to you
I get tongue-tied
Turns out everything I say to you
Comes out wrong and never comes out right

So I say 'Why don't you and I get together
and take on the world and be together forever'
Heads we will and tails we'll try again
So I say 'Why don't you and I hold each other
fly to the moon and straight on to heaven
'Cause without you they're never going to let me in


OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Young Elizabeth couldn't sleep. Her thoughts kept her awake.

The dark blond girl was laying in her bed at Calleigh and Horatio's residence, looking up at the white ceiling. Her gaze slowly trailed off to the bright green curtains and the rest of the room. Even though she couldn't really say that she actually missed the woman and man she'd always seen as her mother and father; even though this was starting to feel like home to her – a much happier one than the one she'd been used to – she still felt like something was missing.

Both Calleigh and Horatio cared a lot about her, and neither of them was afraid to show it. She really liked them, and she absolutely adored their daughter Emily. Yet, she still longed for that special someone in her life, perhaps especially because she'd once known him.

Her sad gaze touched the picture on her nightstand. It showed her on a tiny porch swing with Ilias, his arms securely wrapped around her and Liz' small hands grasping them tightly. She'd never wanted him to let her go, but not long after the picture had been taken, he had disappeared without explanations. She still could not figure out why he would have done that. He could have– She sighed; she couldn't say what she thought that he could have done or said. Maybe informing her would have been nice, instead of just suddenly leaving her a crying fool with tons of unanswered questions, so she wouldn't have had to hear it from a friend. She would have appreciated hearing it from Ilias himself. Why, mostly. And that phone call from Ilias hadn't really given any answers, because it had only confused her even more.

She had no idea why she still kept the picture on her nightstand. Even though tangible memories along with the ones in your head were nice, when you haven't been able to move past them, being confronted with physical reminders just hurt big time. And even though Liz knew she hadn't moved on yet, she couldn't quite make herself put away the evidence of her special someone being out there, even though he was so far away; for her it was like evidence that true love like it was so often described in children's fairytales existed in reality, too.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

It had been just under a month since Elizabeth had moved over to the DuCaine apartment, and she'd dare say she'd perhaps found her place after all. She'd changed her last name at the same time as her home address and now she could start living as a true Duquesne, without her last name reminding her of the parents that had never wanted her. When the door bell chimed through the living room on an early Monday evening, the young adult found herself closest to the hallway that led to the wooden front door, since Calleigh and Horatio were both into the kitchen trying to cook a proper meal together – even though Liz highly doubted cooking was all they were getting up to in there based on the giggles that came from the direction of the kitchen. She yelled something in that direction, got up grumbling from the couch, and made her way to the hallway and front door. When she opened it, she saw a familiar figure standing on the doorstep there, with a giant suitcase at his feet. "I-Ilias?" She couldn't believe her eyes. Was this another one of her vivid dreams about him?

At first, Liz just stood there in shock at his appearance, unable to speak or move, until she heard his voice say, "Are you going to invite me in, or are you going to leave me waiting on your doorstep? It has been a long trip, Liz." Then, completely wild with excitement, her eyes still widened in pure shock, she threw herself happily into his arms, screaming his name as loud as her voice allowed, scaring a toddler out across the street.

"How did you get back here? You–" Liz uttered, remembering the flight was rather expensive and consequently unaffordable for her boyfriend, like he had explained to her on his last call. He would have to work for at least six more months, without spending anything of the money, to be able to pay the ticket back.

"I have been working full-time, and found a nice sideline for the weekend," Ilias explained, a smile across his face when he saw her eyes; the twinkles of happiness and sweet mischief dancing around in them just like he remembered. He promised himself never to say what exactly he'd gotten into to be able to get the money together fast. "And it was most definitely worth it, babe."

Elizabeth pulled back a little, capturing his sparkling brown eyes. She couldn't decide whether to hold him tight or relax into his arms. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Could it be too good to be true? She sighed. She'd longed so much for her Ilias to get back that it embarrassed her to think about it. Her Ilias. And yet at the same time something still seemed to threaten her feelings of happiness. What had he been up to in England? Had he been faithful to her? Had he shared his bed with others there, in the months the two of them hadn't seen each other? No, Liz said to herself, as she still clung onto him. He wasn't like that. He truly loved her, didn't he?

He'd come back for her, hadn't he? Yet, he'd left her without saying as much as a goodbye, too. She knew that she still hadn't moved on, but eventually she had won control of herself and her feelings again, and she didn't want to lose that stability. She already felt herself losing ground. Liz's head simply felt too small for this avalanche of mixed and competing feelings right now. She just wanted to hold him after all this time. Her Ilias, she thought, even as she realized he didn't really feel like hers anymore.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Liz looked up at him smiling, but she knew that he could see the truth behind that smile anyways. Thus, she simply stopped pretending and quietly put her glass of 7Up down on the table the two of them were sitting at. She and Ilias were in a small but cozy cafe close to Miami Beach. Calleigh had suggested they go to town together to catch up with each other and offered to let Ilias sleep in the guestroom. She'd known that a lot of talking would be needed to fix this. "What's wrong, Liz?" Ilias asked, reaching out to lay his warm hand on hers gently. She couldn't pull back; it simply felt too good to feel him again, even if only that familiar warm hand.

"Why did you leave me?" She asked, tears starting to form in the corners of her eyes again. She dabbed at her eyes angrily; didn't really want him to see her cry. No answer came. "Why didn't you explain, Ilias? Why?" Again no answer came.

"I love you," he finally replied her, hurt visible upon his own face. "I never stopped loving you. My thoughts were with you all the time, wondering what you were doing and worrying that maybe you'd found someone else before I could come back." He had been gone for months, and didn't know anything about what had happened in the meantime. Maybe she'd fallen in love with another guy? She had a way of making a guy feel special, important, and Ilias knew many guys would do almost anything to be in his place. That was how he'd remembered things being before he'd left to England.

"Then why did you leave me without explaining anything? Then why did I have to hear it from Louisiana's brother? Why not from you, Ilias? Why not from you? I cried myself to sleep for months; didn't have the faintest idea what was going on. You left me!"

"I came back," Ilias whispered. "I came back for you."

"And I waited for you," Liz spoke, tears flowing from her eyes at this point. "I couldn't let go," she cried. "I just... couldn't..."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Calleigh looked up briefly from cutting up baby food for hungry Emily as her sister walked into the kitchen. Liz yawned, moving over to the refrigerator to get some milk, when Calleigh interrupted saying, "The milk and cornflakes are already on the table, honey." Elizabeth turned back around and sat herself down on the chair closest to her, reaching out to take the box of cornflakes and shaking some in her cereal bowl, then pouring a little milk over it.

The blonde's brow crinkled watching her younger sister's appetite, or rather lack thereof. "Not hungry?"

"Not really."

"Ilias still asleep?" Calleigh asked, handing her daughter the ham sandwich she'd made for her and reaching out to take Emily's cup and refilling it with apple juice before handing it back to the toddler smiling, stroking her finger along the little girl's cheek lovingly.

"I guess," Elizabeth answered, head leaning on her hand as she just dangled into the breakfast bowl with her spoon, not having eaten anything yet. She then dropped her spoon into the bowl and pushed it aside in annoyance. "Where's Horatio?"

"He left early for a double homicide in Palm Springs," Calleigh answered, then looked up at her sister meaningfully. Emily curiously watched both women, as if she expected that they would start a song and dance routine for her. "Ilias has had a long trip. It's pretty understandable that he'd like to sleep in... if that's what bothers you. It's something else, though. Isn't it?" Liz now looked up as well, sighing and opening her mouth a few times before she could speak.

"It's just so confusing right now. It's like I need to get used to his presence again."

"That's understandable, too."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"I have always been told that the sunset in Miami is the most beautiful for couples who are madly in love with each other. I think we're one of those, aren't we? I'd love to see it with my girlfriend in my arms," Ilias said, hopefully looking up at his own girlfriend a couple of days after his return. He could feel that things were getting close to how they had been before his departure. Elizabeth's eyes wandered over to Calleigh, silently asking for permission, as the older couple was sitting in the other couch with their daughter. Since Emily's parents had gotten home from CSI earlier than usual, the possibility existed for the young couple to go out just the two of them that night.

"Go," was all Calleigh said, gently rocking her daughter on her knee. Not that she actually needed their permission, but Liz usually preferred to check things with Horatio and Calleigh first. She lived with them and respected the couple very much, and felt like it was the least she could do for all they'd already done for her. Her eyes wandered over to Horatio, who stroked over his daughter's blond hair, giving Elizabeth a light nod and a soft grin.

OOOO

A little while later, Ilias and Elizabeth were walking over the beach, with their respective pair of shoes in their hands, and each holding the other's free hand tightly. She would never let go of him ever again. She loved him too much for that. In the distance, a little boat was sliding over the light blue water of the ocean. "I couldn't get over you..." Liz admitted. She knew that she'd told him this before, yet felt an irrational need to repeat it again. "I couldn't even think about being with someone else. I..." At that, Ilias held her closer to him and lovingly kissed her forehead, saying, "I'm here now, and I'm never leaving you again. I promise."

Before either of them had really noticed, the sun had gone down, and they had ended up at a lost side of the beach. Ilias smiled, throwing his shoes in the soft sand and pulling his shirt over his head, before he hastily started unzipping his pants. Liz didn't need more of a cue, and impetuously disposed of her clothes as well. Then, both of them ran into the sea, naked, tightly holding each other's hand like before the contact had been broken. And there, in the cold azure blue water, they kissed each other again under the twinkling stars, for the first time in months. Months that suddenly didn't seem to matter anymore.

OOOO

When the young and impulsive couple had come home in the middle of the night, after their rather short but invigorating dive, Liz found a little note on the kitchen table, which said both Calleigh and Horatio hoped they had enjoyed themselves, and with the request to please don't wake the baby if they were staying up. Giggling, Liz navigated them to the bathroom to shower and to dispose of all the sand. If there was something the youngest Duquesne really hated, it was sand between her toes. Afterwards, she and Ilias ended up in her bedroom, with the door tightly shut... And after reassuring Ilias at least four times that she really wanted it, they made love like never before.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

The Hummer came to a halt at the crossroads, as their song filled the car Horatio had lent them for that night. Ilias' lips formed the softest smile, as his sparkling brown eyes wandered over to his girlfriend, who was sitting beside him in the passenger seat. He himself was sitting behind the wheel. He gently took his girlfriend's hand over the transmission gear and squeezed it while they waited for the light to change. They smiled at one another.

The red light finally turned green, and Ilias let go of her hand to set the transmission in the correct gear, then moved his foot from the brake to the throttle and slowly released the clutch, causing the car to continue its way home. It was already getting towards morning, and Horatio would need the car to drive to CSI. Ilias and Liz had left the rave about ten minutes ago, leaving mostly drunk boys and girls. The couple had been at the party all night long. And although Ilias was legally allowed to drink alcohol, he had stuck with his girlfriend and had kept it to Tonic, without any Gin.

Ilias's eyes were back at the road, but Liz's still hadn't left his face; a soft smile graced her gleaming red lips. It had been a while since she had enjoyed herself this much. It had been even longer since she had been at a rave. And now she had just had probably the best night of her life. Maybe one thing could make it even better... something which had to wait until they got home. She watched the handsome guy beside her closely, still not quite believing that he was back, afraid that he'd disappear again the moment her eyes left him, when she suddenly noticed two glowing yellowish white headlights, which bore down on the Hummer at full speed. Liz's pupils narrowed rapidly in fear, her heart beat coming to thump on the side of her head in panic. "Ilias, watch out!" she screeched, her voice sounding about an octave higher than usual.

Ilias' eyes quickly looked for what could have scared Elizabeth so much, then riveted back to his girlfriend, before the car of a drunk driver, who had ignored the red light on his side, crashed in on the department Hummer in which the couple sat.

Two piercing headlights, this was the last thing Liz remembered before all the lights went out in her head...

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

The soft beeping noise of the monitors that registered her vital functions, and Whiskey Lullaby playing in the background of her foggy mind brought Elizabeth floating back to consciousness. Her mind displayed an image of Ilias and herself dancing to the song and him singing along with that wonderful voice he had. Liz couldn't quite be sure whether there were memories flooding her mind or just dreams. She had a huge headache, and couldn't quite find its cause. She couldn't remember anything, she concluded after a few minutes of trying to steady her sight. What she saw was a complete blur.

It weren't Ilias's sparkling brown eyes or smile she saw when she opened her dull emerald eyes, though. It was Calleigh's nervous expression she found before her. It took a few minutes for Elizabeth to concentrate enough on her half sister's face to steady it and try and see the cause of her expression. Had she been crying? Elizabeth felt pretty disoriented, yet was trying to figure things out. "Liz? Can you hear me? It's Calleigh..." The green eyed girl looked around her wearily and noticed all... white. She realized where she must be and understood at least one thing. There was at least one question answered, but that didn't mean she still didn't have a lot of unsolved ones. Unsolved ones she needed to have answers to as well.

"Why am I here? Where's Ilias?" she asked ever so softly. Her voice didn't allow her to pronounce it louder than a whisper, and her whisper was still almost inaudible.

Calleigh carefully took her sister's hand and squeezed it carefully, chewing her lower lip in what looked like fear, and looked up at her husband for help. Only then Elizabeth realized he was there as well. There was, however, no sign at all of little Emily or Ilias. Maybe they were downstairs in the cafeteria for a drink? Calleigh sighed deeply, realizing it came down on her. She'd be the one to tell her. She felt Horatio's hand on her shoulder as a support and managed to speak two words. "I'm sorry," she whispered, shaking her platinum blond head with unshed tears, realizing it could have been Liz as well.

Understanding Ilias hadn't survived the car crash in which the young couple had been involved, Elizabeth's world came crashing down on her. And 'together' became a word of which the meaning had been lost. An intellectual concept from which all feeling had disappeared into thin air, irretrievably lost. The mantra just kept playing inside her head. 'He's gone, and I'm still alive...'

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Liz tried to lift her head lightly, but even the tiny motion brought a surge of nausea, and she sank back over the pot. Horatio was a light sleeper, and was woken by the retching sound. He was holding his wife tightly to his chest, and kissed the exposed skin on her neck to wake her. Calleigh'd want to know. She moaned, her sparkling light eyes blinking open as she too heard a sound coming from the bathroom. "Horatio?" Again, both heard someone throwing up. "Liz," Calleigh answered her own unfinished question. "Handsome, I'm going to check on Elizabeth first," she decided, being torn apart between the lust for the man in her bed and the concern over her younger sister. She kissed his lips and made him promise not to move an inch until she was back before moving to sit up.

She pushed herself upright with one hand and swung both legs over the edge of their bed, releasing herself from his grasp. He rolled on his back, folding his strong arms behind his head, as he watched her make her way to the bathroom, where Elizabeth was sitting on her knees in front of the toilet pot, supporting her lower abdomen with her right hand and holding the edge of the pot with the other. Probably to prevent herself from sinking down in a shaky mess on the floor. Tears were lying on her flushed cheeks. She didn't even hear her big sister entering the room.

OOOO

Calleigh lowered herself next to Liz and started rubbing circles on her lower back, trying to comfort her as best as she could. She didn't know if it would help, but she couldn't sit by and do nothing... "I'm fine," Liz said, before the other woman even had the chance to say something. She tried to look more stable in front of the CSI as she attempted to hold on to the remains of her last meal by will alone.

"You don't look fine."

"I'm fine, just... I'm good, don't worry about me."

Calleigh frowned in concern, suddenly feeling like an intruder in her own bathroom. Her sister clearly needed some time alone. "If there's anything..." she whispered, quietly moving to leave the bathroom and turning around to eye her sister one last time as she reached the doorway. She left feeling very uncomfortable about the situation.

When Calleigh finally left the doorway, Elizabeth spit out the vomit that she'd tried to hold in.

OOOO

When Liz didn't come down for breakfast the next morning, Calleigh's concern was aroused even more. She decided to check up on her before going to work. Horatio agreed that would be a good idea. Just as she was about to go up the stairs, a visibly very ill Elizabeth walked into the kitchen, undressed but wearing a thick sweater over her pajamas. The blonde's investigative instincts kicked in. She thought this to be very odd, since Miami was as always hot and Liz usually couldn't stand the heat that much.

Horatio turned around to face her, too, seeing his wife's alarmed expression. The vision of Elizabeth he saw alarmed him as well. Her green eyes were sunken and purple bruises under them indicated an acute lack of sleep lately. She looked very pale as well, and in addition she seemed to be shaking all over even though she was wearing a thick sweater.

"Liz?" Horatio's low rumble sounded, as he noticed her hand going to the side of her head and as she wobbled on her feet momentarily. As she regained her balance with the help of the doorway, he thought he'd noticed her teeth chattering for an instant.

"I'm fine," she said.

"We," Calleigh started, looking at her husband doubtfully and receiving a light nod, "We are very worried about you. Horatio and I have noticed how you have been throwing up a lot lately, and since we remember what you did last time Ilias left–" "He didn't leave me, he's gone!" Liz interrupted, and started crying again, like so many other times since Ilias's death. "I'm sorry," Calleigh apologized. "I didn't mean to upset you, we're just... Please tell us the truth, Liz, we are worried that maybe you are–" "Drinking again?" Elizabeth finished.

Silence fell, until Emily started screaming, apparently not happy that her presence seemed to be unnoticed. Calleigh quietly stood up and moved over to gather her daughter in her arms, still looking anxiously at her sister as she managed to shush her daughter, rocking her. "Yeah," Calleigh admitted honestly.

"I'm not drinking again," Liz said quietly. "I wouldn't do that, not when... I think I'm pregnant."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"And there's your baby, Ms. Duquesne," the female gynaecologist stated, running the transducer over the young adult's lower abdomen, a layer of cold gel lingering between the ultrasound instrument and the girl's skin. Calleigh had explained that this would be needed to make sure the sound waves got through, because sound waves could not penetrate air, no matter how thin. When Liz looked up at the monitor and saw her child, she couldn't contain the tears. Calleigh smiled, gently squeezing her sister's hand.

"I'd say you're about nine weeks along. Here," Dr. Crocker indicated with two fingertips on the screen, "you can see the little fingers slightly moving if you look really close. I'd think 1.1 inches and 1.8 grams is just a little small at this stage of your pregnancy. The fetus is doing completely fine overall, though, so I wouldn't worry."

Elizabeth tore her eyes from the screen and looked up slightly worried at her older sister, who smiled. That really reassured her.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"I want to have it so badly," Elizabeth cried, on her knees in front of the toilet again, a couple of days after the gynecologist's appointment. Calleigh had been woken by her getting up and was now sitting right beside her. "Our baby is the only thing that's still left of him. I cannot..."

"I understand," Calleigh nodded. "I understand; don't worry." Calleigh and Horatio had been utterly shocked when Elizabeth had confessed to them about the positive pregnancy test she had taken, confirming she was having Ilias' baby. Because of the situation, however, they had as well understood that she'd really like to keep the baby. Neither of them had made much trouble about that, but there was just still the worry that she would not be able to do this. She was barely eighteen after all.

A few silent seconds went by without throwing up. Liz was pretty sure she was fine now and clutched the edges of the pot tightly, trying to get up. The older blonde reached out to help in the process. For a couple of seconds, Liz actually managed to stand upright shaking. Then she reached for her abdomen again, and sank back over the toilet. It didn't seem to stop and Calleigh wondered what was still left to throw up. She hadn't properly eaten since the accident, even though everyone had told her it'd be better for the baby she carried. Calleigh knew she tried really hard for Ilias' child, but she just couldn't get more than a few bites in her stomach.

Elizabeth felt as if her whole stomach was already retched inside out. It hurt. Then, as suddenly as it had started, it all seemed to fade. Finally. Liz was pretty used to this daily ritual now, but she really didn't want it to last for the rest of her pregnancy, like it did with some women, or it would become the death of her someday. She closed her pain filled eyes for a second. "Go back to sleep," Elizabeth said, not really looking at her half sister as she spoke. "I'm going back to bed in a minute, too."

"Lizzy, are you sure you want me to leave?"

The girl nodded, and Calleigh understood she probably needed some time alone now. Liz's pregnancy was very radical both physically and emotionally. Especially emotionally. Thus, Calleigh quietly left, giving her half sister a peck on her forehead and granting her all the space she wanted and needed.

OOOO

The night of their reunion, Elizabeth and Ilias had made love to each other without protection. They knew what they were doing, though. If she wound up pregnant, the baby would be just as welcome as after ten years. It would have been made with the same love. Both of them were sure the love they shared with each other wouldn't ever burn out. Right then, however, neither of them would have guessed what the future held. No one could have known that a drunk driver would take the baby's father away barely two weeks after the couple's reunion, before the eighteen-year-old even found out she was really pregnant.

Ilias had died right on the spot, while Elizabeth and the child had survived. It had been a miracle the baby was even still alive. Liz had been so upset about it all, and when the hurt had started to recede, she discovered she was pregnant with Ilias's child. In the commotion of the car crash and his death, she hadn't dwelt on the fact she could be carrying their child right then. What hurt her the most, though, was that Ilias would never know she was having his child. Unless – could he see them from heaven, she wondered? She couldn't imagine he would have gone anywhere else. Maybe he was the baby's guardian angel now.

OOOO

Calleigh joined her husband under the sheets again, and felt his blue eyes staring at her. Horatio was probably waiting to hear how Elizabeth was holding up in the bathroom. "Tough as nails," she commented, adding a sigh of concern. "As usual. It seems as if she doesn't want me near." Horatio allowed her to hide into his chest, as he pulled her close. "She's–" "Everything's going to be alright, sweetheart," Horatio promised. "With Elizabeth, and with the baby she's carrying. She just needs her space, but she'll come to you eventually."

The blonde's eyes captured his as she broke apart from him for a few inches. She simply looked at her husband, resolutely. Then, she pulled him into a kiss and lay back, allowing him to pin her into the mattress and opening her legs to give him better access.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Hearing Emily's screaming from upstairs, Calleigh put her sandwich down on her plate, and stood up from her chair at the breakfast table. Leaving Elizabeth and Horatio in the small kitchen, she made her way up the stairs to the baby room, and licked the remaining chocolate spread off her fingers on her way. "Mommy's coming, princess!"

"You are going to be late if you don't hurry up and eat your breakfast," Horatio stated gently, noticing how the teenage girl was again toying with her food and just kept on dangling her spoon in her bowl of cornflakes. Liz's eyes caught his as she tilted her head lightly. "Calleigh and I both are quite worried about you two," Horatio said ever so softly. Liz's teeth bit marks in her lower lip as she struggled against the tears.

"Our baby just has to survive," she whispered, not being able to prevent a tear from rolling down. "I can't– I wouldn't be able to cope with losing this baby," she uttered, both hands running over her fourteen weeks pregnant belly. "This is the only thing that's still left of Ilias, and I don't want to lose it, too," she cried.

Horatio turned to her and allowed her to cry into his chest, his hand running soothingly over her back, and occasionally combing through a strand of dark blond hair. He couldn't care less about his shirt becoming streaked with her carbon black mascara. The shirt could be replaced easily. Unlike Liz. It would be a whole lot worse to lose her.

"Ilias's dead, and I'm not," Liz whispered hoarsely.

"Sshhhh," Horatio soothed. "Everything's going to be alright." He had lost track of the times this sentence had come from his mouth the last few months. "You have to believe that." And Liz did and believed him on his word. "But, if you want the baby to live, you have to eat."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Ann?"

It was already October 8th. The car crash had happened around the beginning of July. Elizabeth had taken the positive pregnancy test two months after. And another month later, Liz had recovered enough to start her very last year at high school. There, she'd met Ann. Ann was new in Miami and was starting her last year as well. She had moved over from Phoenix because of her dad's new job. The two took about half of their classes together and had become great friends in just a short time.

The girl caught the eyes of her best friend. Elizabeth knew she wouldn't be able to hide the pregnancy any longer. Her tummy was gradually starting to pop out. "Ann, I'm very lucky to have you as my friend. You've already been pretty amazing about what happened before we met and respecting my feelings, and I really hope this doesn't change anything, but... I'm pregnant. I wanted to tell you before I'm starting to show..."

"What?" Ann almost yelled and came to a sudden halt in her tracks on their way to Chemistry. Liz sighed and understood she owned her friend some further explanation. If she wanted her friend to understand this, she needed to explain. "It's Ilias's. We made love bare about two weeks before the accident." 'And after,' Liz added privately to herself. She'd told her friend about him, and about the crash.

Ann therefore immediately understood most of it all. Liz was going to want to keep the baby. She was still plain shocked, though, and saw how Liz' teeth clenched her bottom lip. All those memories of Ilias must be torturing her deep inside at that moment. All her friend wanted to do, was hugging her tightly. So that's exactly what she did. "Are you sure about this?" Ann asked, gently. She'd probably do the same in her friend's place, but still felt the need to ask. Her friend nodded into her shoulder and that answer was all she needed. From that very moment on, Ann promised herself to support her friend all the way. She was going to help Liz through it. No matter how much it would cost.

The buzzer went off for its second time, indicating that if you weren't in your respective class in exactly two minutes, you might expect an hour of detention.

OOOO

One of those classes Liz and Ann took together was Chemistry. The girls shared a work bench in the front.

In the beginning of the practice course, Mrs. Brown had explained twice where the contents of their respective test tubes should be going after analyzing the chemical reactions the different fluids launched if brought together. Most of the chemical fluids were dangerous if not handled correctly, but Mrs. Brown was someone who found practice more important than theory. Plus, she was absolutely right when she said you understood the aspects of Chemistry better if you could really perceive what happens. The students were all seniors, and she was convinced the age brought responsibility. The responsibility and ability to be able to handle even the more dangerous chemical liquids.

Mrs. Brown had put an empty Erlenmeyer flask on the empty student bench in the front, where the chemical solutions should be going after the reactions. She wanted to make sure they wouldn't mistake this flask with the other one on her own bench in the front, in which the products of the juniors' lab were kept. Its contents weren't yet neutralized. And it couldn't be poured down the drain until that had happened.

Suddenly, Liz heard a soft fizzing right next to her. Her eyes searched the source of it, and she realized the sound was coming from the Erlenmeyer flask on Mrs. Brown's bench. Standing in the front of the classroom, the girl had a fair view over the rest of the lab. She saw Wyatt returning to his place in the back of the classroom, and realized what should have happened. Too late. "Mrs. Brown!"

Wyatt had mixed up the two Erlenmeyer flasks. He probably hadn't been listening again when Mrs. Brown had explained and had poured his own test fluids with the juniors' ones, creating a dangerous mixture of chemical fluids... that could explode any moment.

The forty-four year-old teacher raised her head in shock and realized what was going to happen. "GET DOWN!" She yelled.

BANG!

Everyone present in the Chemistry lab was smashed on the floor by the impact of the explosion. Mrs. Brown was the first one to respond to the situation, and told all students to evacuate. A huge alarm went off, as the fire broke out where the front benches had stood. Nothing was left of them.

Elizabeth had been the nearest to the explosion, and had had the biggest blow as well. She had consciously pulled up her legs to protect the fetus in her womb as she'd been blown backwards. Ann didn't like her clutching her lower abdomen much, though, and decided right then and there to get her friend to the hospital. As she hovered over Liz, she also noticed a gash on her right cheek, where a piece of flying glass had probably grazed her skin.

"She's pregnant," Ann explained, as Mrs. Brown squatted beside the girls and her shining brown eyes watched the student closely. She and Elizabeth really liked their Chemistry teacher, so Liz wouldn't mind Ann telling her. And she would notice herself in a couple of weeks anyway. "The baby," Liz cried, softly, fearing for the life in her womb. "The baby..."

Elizabeth ended up being brought to the E.R. by Mrs. Brown, her friend Ann not leaving her side for a second.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Horatio."

Hearing his first name, Lieutenant Caine raised his red head to eye Calleigh. There was nothing left of the happiness which had been audible in her voice that morning. It had been replaced with something that made him look up. Something... urgent. Her shining black pupils were wide, Horatio noticed, as he caught her glance. He saw how she was biting her lower lip nervously and wondered what was going on. He pushed some papers aside and got up. "Calleigh..."

"There was an explosion during Chemistry class. Elizabeth got hurt and has been taken to Dade Memorial," she announced, hands in her long, straight blond hair.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"Just... leave me alone," Elizabeth almost begged her best friend, both her hands clutching her lower abdomen tightly as she was laying on her side looking out of the window. When she saw a young woman pushing a pram with what Elizabeth assumed was her son or daughter, tears filled her eyes once more and she instinctively closed them against what would be a happy sight for anyone else but pure torture for her. She still had a long way to go, and even though the sonogram had showed everything was completely fine, she feared that something must have gone wrong.

"Liz. Please," Ann begged, getting up from her chair next to the hospital bed and sitting onto the edge of the bed instead, gently reaching out to lay her warm hand on Liz' arm. Her friend still refused to look at her. "I don't understand why you're angry with me."

"I'm not! I just..."

"I understand," Ann whispered with a deep sigh and got up, leaving the hospital room as her best friend requested.

OOOO

Ann closed the hospital door behind her and sighed. She silently joined Mrs. Brown, and lowered herself on one of the chairs, until the sound of high black court shoes caught her attention. Calleigh hadn't been lying. Ann highly doubted it had even been ten minutes...

"How's Elizabeth doing? How's the baby?" She asked, as soon as she reached the chairs. Horatio was right behind her.

"They're both alive," Liz's friend answered the urgent question, and she tried to add a faint smile. "The sonogram showed she and the baby are both fine. This baby's a... miracle, but she knows she could have lost Ilias's child easily and even though she's been very lucky, it upset her a lot. She's been given a mild sedative to calm her down a little."

Calleigh nodded approvingly, before looking up at her husband. She swallowed, and lightly knocked on the door, before entering the quiet hospital room.

OOOO

"Get lost," Liz whispered, hoarsely, facing the world outside through the open window, recognizing the sound of the high heels on the shiny hospital floor. Elizabeth had been in here just a little too often to her own taste. She had learned to recognize the sound of Calleigh's shoes. "No," the CSI replied. "I'm not leaving you." Silence. "That's not the way it goes down." More silence. "I'll be there for you, even if you don't want me right now. I'll be waiting until you do, Liz."

"I'm so afraid something's going to happen to this baby, Calleigh," Liz cried, softly. "His baby." She rolled her head over to the other side, and her shining emerald eyes found those of her half sister, who walked over to the hospital bed. The Firearms expert sat on the edge, seeing through the haze of tears lingering in Elizabeth's eyes. All those tears of pain; the pain of lost love which hadn't had the chance to blossom.

The teenager grasped Calleigh's hand tightly. The extra hormones spreading through her made Elizabeth an easy target for tears. She was a real tough one, and didn't quite understand why she was crying so much lately. "Come here," Calleigh whispered, saying it was alright to cry. Alright to need someone to cry with. Liz sank into the CSI's arms, hanging onto her as if she was that one thread that kept her from falling. "Oh, Liz..." And she started to sing softly. "Come here, and cry on my shoulder. I'll hold you 'til it's over. I'll rescue tonight. Let my arms be your shelter, your hiding place forever. I love you more than life..."

________________________________________

'WHY DON'T YOU AND I' by CARLOS SANTANA & CHAD KROEGER
'CRY ON MY SHOULDER' by OVERFLOW