Title: Ghosts in the Wind
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Summary: After a bad case, Horatio needs to forget, so Speed takes him for a ride.
Their last case had been rough. Depraved and horrific beyond the norm, even for them. Not a child molester this time. As if that made it any better. No, just abusive parents, more interested in their own lives, their own needs than in the needs of their child. A two year old son they had named Christopher Michael.
Speed hadn't known that at the time. Hadn't known the little dark haired boy's name until a couple of hours ago when Horatio had confronted the parents with the autopsy photos of little Christopher's death. The father hadn't said a word, not even at the end. The mother had lost it though, yelling at Horatio what a needy little brat the child had been, siphoning off what precious little money and free time they had left after work and climbing their respective social ladders.
Speed wasn't sure Horatio had known Christopher's name until Marcia Townsend Kendrick had thrown it in his face. Screaming it like it was the vilest curse imaginable instead of the name of their first born; someone who should have been their most precious gift.
In a voice barely above a controlled whisper, made all the more deadly by that very calm in the wake of the mother's anger, Horatio had laid out the evidence, read the charges against them both and watched with glittering blue eyes full of suppressed fury as they were taken away. He then stalked out of the building, a dark cloud of anger and rage about him that had everyone moving out of his path, rather they knew it or not.
All except for Speed who had followed him out into the cheerful late spring sun of the PD parking lot. Horatio got into the lab's Hummer, Speed hopped on his bike. No need to follow too close. Even if Speed lost the intimidating bulk of the Hummer, he knew where H was headed. Plenty of time to take the long way around and still arrive in time to keep an eye on his boss.
Gunning the engine and zipping out into traffic, Speed bit back a sigh. This case had been hard for him, too.
Hit way too close to home; brought back too many bad memories. The Kendrick's. The Speedle's. The callous disregard for a life they had created had reminded him entirely too much of his own parents. Of how nothing was ever good enough. Or of only minor (if any) importance unless it was about them. A child held no value unless it could somehow benefit the parent.
It was a life that Speed had left back in New York, though it still haunted him sometimes. Like today. After cases like this one that brought it all back.
Normally Speed would race off, trusting the wind and the ride and the speed that had given him his name to drown out his thoughts. Today he followed H to the park.
Parking in the bushes out of sight, Speed watched over his boss and friend while H watched the kids. He knew Horatio well enough to know what he was thinking. The bright sunlight. Laughing kids. Swing sets and parks, toys and best friends. Chatting parents keeping watchful eyes on them from the sidelines of wooden park benches.
That this was how it should be.
Standing under a tree, shaded and half hidden by it's branching leaves, as much as the parents watched over their kids, Speed watched over Horatio. A solitary figure sitting alone on a bench of his own, elbows on his knees, Horatio sat watching the children play. Blue eyes every so often peering over the sunglasses and scanning the crowd before coming back to the playground, mind a million miles away. His head would hang, fingers stripping off his glasses and digging into his eyes before he would look up again. A little more bent, a little more responsible.
A little more guilty.
With a sigh Speed pushed off the trunk and joined him.
"It's not enough this time," he asked, mirroring Horatio's pose. Elbows on his knees, seeing what H sees. "Is it?"
"It's not enough this time, is it?"
Horatio didn't start at the familiar voice. He had known the moment the stranger had sat down that it wasn't a stranger at all. "No. No it isn't."
No surprise that Speed was there. No questions as to how Speed had found him or why this time. No questions at all. Just a silence that grew more comfortable the longer it was shared.
It was a silence they shared for a quite a while.
Until, without a word, H got up and Speed naturally moved to follow. They fell into step, making their way slowly through the throng of kids that were left. Squealing and laughing. Plaintive pleas from the kids for just a few more minutes. Various denials from indulgent or firm mothers that fell on equally deaf ears.
This... This was how children should be. How childhood should be. He had needed the reminder, and badly. Glancing at his CSI, Horatio thought that maybe...maybe Speed had needed that same reminder too.
Ending up by Speedle's bike, H trailed the sleek lines with his fingers. "Speed." He smiled that peek-a-boo smile, looking down at the bike; having known almost since the beginning this was how Tim had gotten his nickname. Metal and fire and air and sheer acceleration. "I need you...to take me for a ride."
Speed only nodded, setting himself in place and rocking the bike level. Peering over his shoulder with a dry grin he asked, "You know how to keep from falling off?"
"Yes I do. You hold on." Satisfaction in the answer, H swung a leg over, settling in neatly behind the brunette. Sunglasses once more firmly in place and obviously not too worried about the lack of helmets they were off.
For hours they just drove. Smooth and fast, mostly well above the legal speed limit, the younger man never quite crossed the edge into reckless. Night was falling, the setting sun bathing the metal and glass of the city in neon orange even as it stole that same light from the pastel sky; sparse clouds deepening into navy blues and indigos. It would be true night soon.
Speed had circled the city three times. A magic number? An omen?
Or perhaps...perhaps it was an echo of the redhead's sheer restlessness. Either way Horatio was grateful for the timelessness quality of the ride. For the wind blowing through his hair, rushing in his ears and drowning out any lingering thoughts about the case. For a while it was just the bite of the wind and the heat of Speed in front of him, grounding Horatio in...he grinned.
Grounding him in sheer acceleration.
Only after the sun had completely set did they stop, at the edge of a tree-lined hill that was almost a cliff, opening up to and overlooking the city. Darkness had gathered silently around them, pierced only by a handful of stars sprinkled across the indigo sky and the tiniest curving sliver of the moon. In front of them the city lay spread out level to the sea. Though not dark. No, Miami shown in the night like a jewel, lit by thousands of lights. Street lights, stop lights, the whites and reds of head and tail-lights from thousands of cars and the rectangular patches of office building windows shining out in random patterns from a city that never closes.
Speedle allowed the bike to idle, legs easily balancing their weight, his feet resting on the ground. His hands still on the bars and Horatio's arms still wrapped tight around him, not yet letting go. Speed never asked him to. Instead, after a deep sigh, Speed covered Horatio's hands with his own and leaned back a bit so that they were supporting each other, neither saying a word.
Looking out into the night and the city beyond.
A soft kiss to the back of Speed's neck is enough to set them off. Waiting until Horatio had braced to handle the weight of the bike, Speed turned, throwing a leg over and settling his weight until they were face to face and only an inch between them. The sunglasses were gone and they each searched the other. Pain, loss, guilt and need, it is that last that fuels the pull as their lips meet for the first time.
Though not the last. Arms once more wrapped around the slender body in front of him, Horatio sighed into the latest kiss when he feels Speed doing the same, the arms sliding around his waist loose and easy. He feels the heavy leather of Speed's jacket as a blanket shielding his thin dress shirt from the wind coming off the ocean to his right. His suit jacket is still in the Hummer at the park. He can taste coffee and something else as Speed wrangles control for the briefest of moments and it's in that moment Horatio realizes he loves his taste.
His eyes flutter open at the thought and he suddenly wonders just when his eyes had closed in the fist place. But it doesn't matter and he allows them to drift closed again, loving the soft chuckle that rumbles into his mouth in the dawning of a new kiss.
That's all right, sight isn't the only sense he has at his disposal.
He can still feel. Feel the cold chill of the air around them despite the warmth and shield of Speed's body, of his arms and legs caging him. Speed's hands, warm and sure against his back, running feathery trails, both confident and gentle.
He can smell the younger man's aftershave leftover from his shower after the case rising from the warmth of his skin; something subtle and spicy clean and completely suited to the man himself.
And he can still hear. The gentle roar of the ocean below and Speed's labored breathing closer at hand, just under his ear. Horatio nuzzled the hollow behind the stubbled jaw, loving the soft needy sounds Speed makes. The little whimpers, murmured against his lips, into his mouth as their kisses resume and grow more passionate.
They were both seeking. Seeking to find something they had lost in the frustration and horror that day. Faith? Hope? A connection to it all? Or maybe it was something as basic as simple human contact.
Speed pulled back, looking into H's eyes. Horatio returned the scrutiny, not sure what Speed would see but content with whatever the younger man found. From out of his leather biker jacket Speed pulled out supplies.
Lube in one hand, condom in the other.
Horatio smiled, asking with quiet amusement, "Do I want to know why you carry those in your pocket? Or why show up after me prepared?"
Speed's return smile was quirky; the quiet snort breaking the hush about them no more than the question had. "Probably not." And then, more serious with one hand cupping his face, "Let me take care of you?"
Horatio found his eyes closing at the husk in the tone, his body shivering. "Please. I think...I think I need that."
"Then let me." Warm breath against his forehead, Speed whispered again. "Let me."
Making love out in the open with Tim Speedle was definitely an experience and one he found himself very much wanting to repeat. Horatio shuddered as Speed undressed him, took him gently, with kisses and whispered words fading into the background of the city lights as he shivered, skin bare in the chill wind.
He came back to himself with the feel of soothing hands running over his arms, his back. More words whispered into his ear, softly; it is a connection he doesn't want to get rid of. With a shock he realizes he's been crying. And so has Speed.
"Take me home." He asked, eyes imploring Tim to understand. He doesn't need very often. He hates this, this moment of weakness and yet...yet this time it doesn't feel like weakness at all. More like a release. As much of one as the physical he just shared and he admits, "I don't think I can go back to being myself just yet."
"You don't have to." He feels Speed shift, one hand coming up to cup his face like before and he smiles into the fingers, knowing he's made the right call.
He can feel that he's blushing as he gets redressed, thankful that the darkness here overlooking the city hides the color. He's exposed himself enough tonight as it is though Speed doesn't laugh or comment. The biting of his lip and a soft, ducking smile are the only signs but they're enough to tell Horatio Speed probably knows he's blushing anyway.
The ride back into the city at 2am was quiet. A little more sedate, and Speed took the direct route home.
The old, eight story loft building was mostly deserted so the elevator didn't work half the time though tonight it did and Horatio was grateful for that. After the day he had had he honestly wasn't sure he could have made it up the eight flights under his own steam. Resting against the cage opposite the equally old fashioned lift gate, H dazed a little, just watching the bricks rush by.
It wasn't until Speed drew out the key and unlocked his apartment door that Horatio realized what he was doing went against every rule he had ever had. And he wanted more. With Speed...with Speed he wanted more.
As if sensing the sharper regard, Speed chose that moment to look back in confusion, those wonderfully kissable lips immediately 'oh'ing in understanding. And need. Equal need. They had made it through the open living room and halfway up the modern steel loft stairs to the short landing when Horatio pressed Speed up against the brick wall alongside the stairs, lips, teeth and tongue finding that one spot and latching on. The sharp moan and hiss as Horatio raked that spot with his teeth was enough to keep him going. Speed's hands trapped under his, palms held up and out pressed against the rough brick, chest and pelvis trapped against the same wall.
In no way did it even come close to being the gentle lovemaking Speed had given him. This was raw, this was primal and Horatio didn't stop until the younger man screamed beneath him, body jerking out the last of his orgasm, Horatio buried deep and flush inside him.
Recovery took a bit longer this time, for both of them. Eventually though, Horatio forced himself into taking a slight step back, far enough so that Speed could turn around. He winced at what he found and immediately sought to apologize only Speed wouldn't let him. One finger to his lips, Speed shook his head, slight smile on his lips.
He was right. The abrasions from the wall would heal and maybe Speed had needed that, just as he had. Naked now, Speed took his hand and they left the discarded jumble of their clothes on the landing to worry about tomorrow.
The rest of the way up into the bedroom was lost in a blur, Horatio only with it enough to insist they clean the small scrapes and to slip into bed. The clean cotton sheets were cool and felt so good against his skin. The med kit had been returned to the bathroom and the light turned off. After a moment, Speed spooned in behind him so they lay back to chest; legs and arms curving and curling around him, holding him close.
No doubt telling himself that if this was all of Horatio he could claim in the morning, he would count himself a lucky man.
And Horatio found he couldn't let that happen.
"If I try to leave out of here in the morning without telling you I love you...remind me of all of the reasons that would be a very stupid thing to do, would you?"
There was silence for a moment...and then the arms around him squeezed him gently and Horatio could hear the relieved smile. "I can do that."
A slight pause and then he twined their fingers together, whispering softly. "Thank you." Horatio Caine smiled, immensely grateful Speed had followed him, allowing them both to leave their ghosts in the wind.
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