Finding Kate

Title: Finding Kate
Fandom: CSI Miami
Pairing: Tim Speedle/OC
Rating: T for now, M later on
Synopsis: Leaving was one of the hardest things she had to do but it was nothing compared to coming back. S1 onwards.

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2. To Make A House A Home

Chapter Two: To Make A House A Home

 

Well, I never want to see you unhappy I thought you'd want the same for me

Goodbye, my almost lover Goodbye, my hopeless dream I'm trying not to think about you

A Fine Frenzy – Almost Lover

 

I stood in the centre of the room taking in the amount of cardboard boxes stacked around me and the labels written on them. I'd showered as soon as I'd gotten in from the scene and changed into my favourite set of grey jogging bottoms and a black strap top. I sipped from the beer bottle in my hand, before setting it down on top of one of the unopened boxes and picking up the photo album that rested in the box I'd opened earlier this morning.

 

Dropping down onto the sofa I flicked it open, feeling a lump in my throat as I looked down at the pictures in front of me.

My chocolate coloured hair was longer here, my head tipped back as I leaned against Tim, laughing at something he was whispering in my ear.

 

There was pain deep in my chest as I turned the page. The picture was side on. Tim's back was pressed against the tree we used to sit under at Columbia, a book in his hand. His brow furrowed as he concentrated on reading.

I felt my fingers brushed over it, as I swallowed hard and pursed my lips before flicking the page.

 

Tim was kissing the top of my head, his eyes closed as he held me close; my arms were wrapped around his waist, my hair long and loose in waves down my back. He looked handsome in the black suit. It was the graduation ball. A week before all hell broke loose and I'd "disappeared".

 

God we'd been so happy back then.

 

I reached out for the beer to drown out the hurt and the bitterness that was swilling around inside me. I knocked back the alcoholic liquid, draining the bottle. I'd fucked up with Speedle. I'd got stuck in position when I'd choose him or the job and although I'd chosen him, it didn't make it any better or any easier to explain.

 

I raked my hands through my shoulder length hair as I leaned over the photo album, my eyes lingering on his smiling face, making my chest ache even more.

 

God I wished I could tell him.

 

There was a sudden knocking on the door, bringing me out of my misery. I set the empty beer bottle back on the box I was using for a table. I rested the photo album aside on the arm of the couch, before grabbing my gun off the mantle piece as I rose to my feet. It was a habit that hadn't died from my undercover days. Even now after the trial and the attack on me and my home I only felt safe answering the door with a gun in my hand.

 

I looked through the peep hole before taking off the chain and opening the door and smiling at the sight of Horatio Caine before me. Sunglasses in one hand, bag of what smelled like Cuban take away in the other. I found myself smiling.

 

"You shouldn't have." I told him, opening the door to let him in.

 

Horatio eyed the gun in my hand before closing the door behind him.

 

"Old habits die hard." He stated as I set the gun on the table next to the front door.

 

"They do." I returned, taking the bag of take away from his hand and leading him into the spacious and box filled living room.

 

"I'm impressed, you have wonderful home here." Horatio stated, his eyes taking in the various items I'd unpacked around the room.

 

"I'm still living out of boxes at the minute, but I fell in love with the house when I saw it. With the insurance money I could afford it." I said with a warm smile, as I routed through one of the kitchen boxes for a set of plates.

 

"If I'd known you were coming over I would have changed into something a little more classy." I teased.

 

"No need, your part of the family." Horatio remarked as he poised himself on the sofa.

 

I felt my cheeks colour at his words before I pulled out two clean plates from the box. I moved through to the kitchen to dish out the Cuban dishes Horatio had chosen.

 

"I see you've still remembered my favourites." I remarked as I walked into the living room, a plate in each hand.

 

The photo album rested in Horatio's lap, as he flicked through it almost gingerly. He looked up as I spoke with a small smile.

 

"You both look happy here." He commented, before setting the photo album back on the arm of the sofa.

 

"We were." I said sadly, handing him his plate and cutlery, before dropping onto the sofa myself.

 

"Not so much now though." It was a statement rather than a question.

 

"He can't forgive me for leaving six years ago." I shrugged, keeping my eyes fixed on my plate.

 

"You know, I think he's just probably still in shock that you've walked back into his life. Stuff like this stirs up old feelings and Speed's a private man he likes to be control, he probably feels out of his depth." Horatio spoke quietly as we both sat, chewing on our food.

 

"It wasn't easy to walk away Horatio." I told him.

 

"It never is." He countered.

 

There was a comfortable silence between us for a few minutes.

 

"You still visit Ray's grave?" I asked thoughtfully, raising to my feet and taking Horatio's empty plate from him.

 

"Once a week, like clock work." He informed me, wiping at his mouth with a napkin.

"I thought so..." I smiled grimly.

 

"I'm going on Sunday, you can join me if you'd like." Horatio said softly as I put the plates in the sink and returned to the doorway over looking the living room.

 

"I'd like that." I replied as Horatio rose to his feet.

 

I gave him a quizzical look as he took off his black suit jacket and let it fall to the couch before rolling up the sleeves on his charcoal coloured shirt.

 

"What are you doing?" I asked tilting my head.

 

"I'm going to help you unpack. Make this place into a home instead of a house." He told me good natured.

 

I found myself grinning.

 

"Ray said that to me when I first arrived in New York, and he helped me unpack into my first apartment." The words slipped out.

 

I saw Horatio bow his head with a small smile.

 

"Ray said a lot of things didn't he." Horatio murmured.

 

I found myself staring at my hands.

 

"Yea he did…Horatio can I ask you something?" I blurted out suddenly.

 

Horatio raised his watery eyes to me, studying my face; already know what was coming next.

 

"Do you think Ray's still alive?" I asked into the silence.

 

Horatio looked away at one of the pictures I'd already set on the mantelpiece, it was of Ray and me sitting at Horatio's kitchen table. We were laughing, at something I remembered Horatio saying.

 

"We went to his funeral."

 

"It was a closed casket." I responded.

 

"He was shot in the head." Horatio countered.

 

"So they say." I pointed out.

 

I watched as a small smirk crossed Horatio's features, it was one of satisfaction.

 

"I'm glad I've got a CSI like you on my team. The truth is. I don't know whether he's alive or not. Sometimes that's harder than believing he's actually dead." Horatio confided, as he let out a sigh.

 

"I asked around the FBI before I left but if anyone knew something, they were hiding it well. I miss him you know…The big brother I never had." I smiled shaking my head. "I guess we'll just have to wait and see."

 

Horatio's eyes met mine.

 

"And hope." He ended

 

"There's always hope." I reminded him, before picking up a pair of scissor's and slicing open the tape on the box in front of me before reaching out and handing them to Horatio, so he could do the same.

 

"That's what I keep telling myself anyway." I admitted.

 

"How's normal life?" Horatio inquired as he started taking various items out of the box and unwrapping them.

 

"It's scary… You know coming back to all this after being under for so long. Sometimes I feel like I don't know who I am any more. The Kate Callahan that I knew before I went undercover is well and truly gone now and when I look in the mirror there's someone completely different. I feel like I'm just hollow at the moment, like I'm trying to learn things about myself and I just feel constantly surprised because I'm not playing a role anymore. I'm being me." I admitted unwrapping a set of crystal wine glasses.

 

"You were in deep for a long time, I always think it's harder on the young ones, you haven't had enough time to learn your place in the world before your being told to be someone else. You just need to find your place again and hopefully it's here with the people that consider you family." Horatio's words were reassuring and touched me deeply.

 

"I really hope it's here Horatio." I confessed, taking out more cutlery form the bottom of the box and setting it on the coffee table.

 

Horatio nodded as I looked up, a stack of books in his arms. His liquid blue eyes sincere as his gaze locked on mine.

 

"Me too Kate."

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The bar was crowded as Tim sat there amongst the patrons, perched on a bar stool. A bottle of beer was clenched in his hand as he took another swig of it, trying to drown out the thoughts and feelings that clattered around his head.

 

Kate's return had thrown everything up in the air and he hated that she still had the ability to affect him in such away. Just being near her brought back feelings he'd spent the last six years attempting to bury.

 

Things were different now than they used to be. She couldn't fit back into his life any more, that space was taken, he'd found somebody else to fill it. He'd changed over the past six years, he'd been through things she could barely comprehend and when he looked at her, she still appeared to be the same Kate he'd met at Columbia, but he knew deep down inside that Kate had changed too.

 

Seeing her again scared him more than he'd like to admit, it took him back to when she'd disappeared. His memories of that time were dark and confusing, filled with a deep longing and an almost crippling depression.

 

Tim drained the last of his beer.

 

Those days were over now. He had someone else.

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