A/N: I'd written this a while back. I was trying something different.
Horatio sat alone on a park bench, the soft breeze making his red hair tickle his forehead. Hands clasped, he slowly moved forward, resting his elbows on his knees. In the distance, he heard the loud bell resonating off the school walls. Happily, children came running out for recess.
He watched them play, thinking of the tender innocence they had. He wished he could regain the nonchalance of a child, but, alas, he was living in a world constantly trying to bring him down and the world, he painfully discovered, was winning.
He was alone, surrounded by dead bodies and every day the weight got a little heavier.
"Horatio?" Alexx inquired in the confines of his mind, "Are you okay, sugar?"
He wanted to say no, but he couldn't speak. He was even afraid that if he opened his mouth, there would be no way of feigning the desperation buried within.
His face stayed indifferent, his head shaking in a barely detectable manner, shoulders rising for an instant then dropping even lower than they had been, Alexx noticed.
Cold, numbness, grimness, mournfulness... There were many words imprisoning his soul.
Wretched, in dire need of solace, he wished he could be rocked in his mother's reassuring embrace.
He followed a little blonde haired girl with his eyes. She was laughing, spinning around and skipping with two of her little friends at her side. He thought back to when he was a kid her age and the only rules were to come home after school before dark, to be at the table in time for supper. He also had to remember to brush his teeth twice a day, to not eat candy before bed. Most of them, he followed, except for the no rough housing with Ray. The rest was just fun and games; visiting Mr. Millard across the street to go see his big Golden Retriever named Charlie, stealing flowers from Mrs. Holgen's flower bed to give to his mother.
He continued to watch the blonde girl with her friends, then looked down to the ground at his feet.
Two boys playing tag came running towards her and her friends tried to warn her, moving away themselves, but one of the boys knocked her over.
He was certain that with introspection, he'd be scratching into old wounds that needed to stay as is, because all were impossible to heal.
It took all his might to suppress the storm brewing within, but he knew if he didn't ensue, he'd be helpless and would let himself collapse.
The oppressing darkness was choking him.
Holding his head, pleading the demons to stop screaming in his ear, he felt broken. It was hopeless... there was no escape... there was nothing he could do as his heart slowly and painfully solidified, freezing up.
Bleeding pain infected the last of his spirit and intensely pushed him to his limits.
His soul now long gone, agony percolated his vulnerable shell, torturously dragging him into emptiness.
Dripping with plaintive, raw emotion, he made up his mind about going home and pulling the trigger.
His head snapped up, the sound of a little girl crying pushing him into action. He quickly strode towards her, kneeled, and carefully checked her wounded hands and knees.
He cleared his throat, not having spoken in so long, "Are you okay, sweetheart?"
She nodded, sniffling.
"Okay, you're okay." Horatio helped her up.
A teacher came forward, looking curiously at him. He pushed his suit jacket back to reveal his badge and her face immediately changed. As if that small piece of metal made him a better man, he thought. Reassured, she left and Horatio looked down at the child looking up at him.
"Thank you, sir," her big bright eyes melted the heart that he didn't know still existed.
"You're welcome," he answered gently.
She smiled and slowly walked off, shouldered by her friends and Horatio turned, hands on his hips, remembering his purpose in life. He strolled off, three words growing louder in his head.
Help the victims.
Summary: Holding his head, pleading the demons to stop screaming in his ear, he felt broken. H-centric.