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Title: Into the Light
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Pairing: Horatio/Speed
Rating: NC-17
Sequel/Series: Now Comes the Night
Summary: Horatio discovers just how close his enemies really are.


Horatio's POV:

Tim is alive.

Three little words. Three words that have the power to change my life forever. There are only two sentences that are three words long that can make my heart stop and one of them was just uttered by Calleigh.

Tim is alive.

I can't understand why no one told me sooner.

Wait, yes I can. I was so totally focused on finding Joey Williams… it was the only way I could force myself to stay out of Alexx's morgue. Standing watch over Tim's body would have accomplished nothing towards finding the missing child – or finding out exactly who'd killed Mr. Williams, and gotten Tim shot. And say what you will but my team knew I was the best bet we had to do either of those things. But that doesn't explain why Mrs. Williams said she'd heard that a CSI had been killed. Maybe the media hasn't been told he's alive?

Maybe I need to get to the hospital and see for myself that my world did not come to an end in McCauley Jewelers. With the blood pounding in my ears I make my way to the parking lot.

Tim is alive. Tim is alive. Those words keep replaying over and over in my head the entire drive to the hospital. I can't quite wrap my brain around the fact that he is still alive. Maybe because I had my head on his chest when his heart stopped. I saw him die. Maybe once I see him for myself… Maybe I can believe for just a moment…

I sag against the wall of the elevator as my body still refuses to process what Calleigh told me. All the evidence points to Tim being dead, and the evidence never lies… but people do. And for once, I don't curse that human tendency, not if it means I'll have the chance to tell Tim everything I couldn't say before.

My vision starts to get blurry just as the elevator doors open onto the ICU ward of Dade Memorial. I slowly step out, wiping them clear, and look up…through a glass wall into a room where Tim's mother is sitting holding the hand of the person lying in the bed. It can't be… I must be seeing things… Tim died only a few hours ago… I look at my watch and realize that almost seventy-two hours have passed since my world came crashing down around my ears. More than enough time for his parents to get a flight out.

"Horatio?" I am ripped from my thoughts by the voice of Tim's father.

"David," I have to stop and clear my throat. "When did you and Irene get in?" I feel stupid asking him that. His son is lying in a hospital bed fighting for his life and here I am trying to make small talk.

"Early yesterday morning. Someone named Alexx pulled some strings to get us here the soonest."

Yeah, leave it to Alexx. Never would she leave her baby alone at a time like this.

"Come on. He's been waiting for you."

"What?" My mind is muddled. "Why would he be waiting for me?"

"He said something about needing to make sure you're still alive? I don't know why. All I know is that he's refusing pain meds."

Of course. His addiction. He would feel the need to be strong and fight the pain on his own. The medication just might push him right back over the edge. An edge he fought long and hard to climb over. Even though he returned to the destructive world of drugs a few weeks ago, he pulled himself out again in time. Now he has me to help him stay clean and sober.

"Maybe you can convince him he needs the medication?" David's voice is thick with tears he is barely holding in check and worry for his son.

"I'll do what I can," I say, wondering what that could possibly be. Too much has happened, to Tim, to me. I don't know anything, any more. Least of all how to deal with any of this.

As we walk into Tim's room, Irene looks up.

"Horatio? Thank God you're here," her voice trembles. She has tear tracks on her cheeks and her eyes are bright with those that remain unshed. "He said you'd come. Please tell him to take the medication. He's in so much pain." I can see how much this is frightening her.

"Sp… Speed?" I stutter, turning to look at the man who owns my heart and wonder if this is all some horrible joke. Because he can't be alive. He is too pale...too still… He is never this still. Not even in his sleep. "Come on, baby, look at me," I call softly, placing my hand on his arm, feeling again the faint scars that mark his new addiction. I used to wonder about them. Why he had them…I finally found out. After I broke his heart. We both have too many secrets.

"H?" his voice is weak and pain-filled. I've been shot before myself. I know how much it hurts.

"Yeah. Come on. Open those beautiful brown eyes for me. Let me see you." His eyes flutter open. "Hi."

"Hi," he chokes.

"Easy. Easy, baby. I'm here."

"My gun, H. My gun…" he whispers.

"Calleigh said it malfunctioned," I tell him softly, being careful to not let the disappointment creep into my voice. "But not like last time. Stetler will not be digging any deeper."

"No. H, it's clean. Remember? I cleaned it…" he sinks deeper into the pillows worn out by these few words, a frown of frustration marring his beautiful face.

I rub the bridge of my nose as I try to think. When was the last time he cleaned his gun…? And then it hits me. The morning we got the all hands call out. I can't believe I forgot. It was one of the most erotic experiences of my life. Him straddling my hips while he cleaned his gun…

"I remember," I whisper, fighting the flood of heat in my face as I start to grow hard just thinking about it.

"It shouldn't have jammed since it was clean," he rasps, grimacing in pain.

"Tim, let the doctor give you something for the pain. Please," Irene pleads standing up to lean over and run her hand across his brow. "Don't make me watch you suffer like this again," she whispers tears starting to fall down her face.

"I'm calling for the doctor," I inform him when he starts to shake his head. "Don't you shake your head at me, Timothy Speedle." I use my 'boss' voice to try and get him to see reason.

"No drugs, H. Please. Promise me. I can't go back. I won't." His eyes are wild and he's starting to panic. I can feel his muscles tense. He's about to start fighting us.

"Tim!" I use my strongest voice. "Listen to me. No one is going to make you take the drugs. But you do need something for the pain. You need to heal. In order to heal, you need to rest. In order to rest, you need to relax. And in order to relax, you need to…"

"Get rid of the pain," he finishes for me. "Fine. Just make sure it's not addictive. I mean it, H. I refuse to go back. Nothing but nightmares down that path," he pants, urgency in his voice.

"I know, baby. I know. I'm here to help you. I'll catch you when you fall. I promise." If only I knew how… and if only there was someone to catch me, now.

________________________________________

Several minutes later, Tim is calmer after having accepted a nerve blocker. Now that he's getting the rest he needs, I decide to head back to the lab and get to the bottom of his malfunctioning gun.

I'm absent-mindedly playing with my sunglasses while waiting for the elevator when I hear someone call my name.

"Alexx?" I blink, struggling to pull my thoughts back from trying to piece together what the hell happened at that jewelry store.

"You okay?" she asks, laying a hand on my arm to steer me off to the side and out of the way of visitors coming and going.

"I'm fine," I reply and get the patented 'Sure you are' look. "Really, Alexx. I'm good. Now that I've seen him."

"How is he?"

"In a lot of pain and fighting it." I feel a tiny twinge of guilt at siccing Alexx on Tim. He has enough to deal with, without my adding Alexx to the mix.

"Did the doctors give him anything?"

"He's refusing it. I think I convinced him to accept a never blocker." At least I'm hoping I did. "When I left his room the nurse was injecting something into his IV."

"Good. Are his parents in there with him?" Alexx asks, leaning around me to try and see into his room.

"Yes. I think you and Irene will hit it off."

"Really?" She seems surprised at that.

"Yeah. You both baby him too much," I say with a slight smile.

"Then I will definitely like his mom," Alexx smiles and starts to walk around me when she slaps her forehead and turns back. "I almost forgot. He wanted me to give you this." She reaches into her purse and pulls out a legal sized envelope.

I take it and turn it over in my hands. "It's been opened," I state, fingering the torn flap.

Alexx has the grace to blush and look away before answering. "Of course I read the letter. If you had seen how nervous he was when he came into my morgue, scaring the crap out of me, then handing me some mysterious letter and telling me to hold onto it 'just in case' – you think I wouldn't read it after that?"

"So you're the one who arranged for the whole fake-out we used?" I ask my mind whirling at the news that Alexx knows something I don't.

"What do you think? Yes, I'm the one who let the world think he's dead until I could give this to you," she snaps back, not liking the accusation, spoken or not. "I know you probably won't forgive me anytime soon, but better for people to think he's dead, than for him to actually be dead, don't you think?"

I just nod before I remember I saw her start an autopsy on him. "I saw you begin the Y incision on his chest."

"Had to make it all look real, didn't I?" she states, tapping an impatient toe.

"But…" I start to question her further.

"Horatio. Will standing here asking me about this help you figure out what happened?"

"No," I sigh.

"Didn't think so. Now, go. Shoo," she says waving me off with her hands. "Go home, take a shower, read the letter, and get some sleep. Preferably in that order."

"Yes, Mom," I say with a chuckle. I don't usually rate this kind of mother-henning from her.

"Don't get cute with me, Horatio Caine." She doesn't even try to stop the smile that crosses her lips.

After leaning up and kissing my cheek she turns and enters Tim's room. I stand in the hall and watch as she introduces herself to his parents, shaking David's hand, but hugging Irene's neck like they are long lost sisters. And I guess they are, in a way, both of them loving and worrying about Tim like they do. When Alexx takes Irene's place at Tim's bedside I turn and enter the elevator headed for the lab. I need to get to the bottom of why Tim's clean gun jammed.

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