Horatio had been going back and forth between the ICU and Pediatrics' Neonatology for days. CSI Duquesne had been comatose so far. She hadn't even winced and there just wasn't... No one knew when she was going to wake up, or if she would.
Their wonderful little daughter, however, had almost put on enough weight to join her mother, but since her mother was still in a coma...
Horatio sighed and looked through the window at the azure sky. The many white smudges looked painted on. The lieutenant had been on Calleigh's side since she had gone into coma, seventeen days earlier.
He had hardly had any rest since then, and it was very hard for him to leave his girlfriend after the visiting hours. Alexx often told him she would wake up when she was ready to wake up, and he wanted to be there for her when she was ready. Alexx and the other members of the team regularly visited, making sure their Lieutenant Caine was getting enough rest and food, to prevent him from ending up in a hospital bed, too. They did understand how hard it was for him, though. They were quite upset about the situation as well, but realized they had to be strong for Horatio, for Calleigh.
Sometimes, he just looked at their daughter, who looked so much like her mother. Then, Horatio fully realized that no one had been able to hold the little one since the day she had been in Neonatology. And, sometimes, when it was all taking its toll upon him and Horatio needed a little time to think about everything that had been going on, he just retreated into nature; the simplicity of nature.
Lieutenant Caine's tired gaze eventually slid over Calleigh's sleeping face once more and the poppy, that so happily flowered between the tulips on the marble window-sill. Normally, when you gather poppies, every little petal mercilessly falls, even if you are careful, but this one stayed tightly closed.
While the lieutenant had been in the lawn of the hospital for a while, thinking, his sapphire blue eyes had noticed a poppy, as red as Calleigh's lips, when Horatio passionately kissed them.
Horatio devotedly made sure there were fresh tulips daily, because his girlfriend loved them so much. Yet this one bright red poppy reminded H. so strongly of her, who was so deeply loved by the lieutenant, that Horatio had rather unconsciously gathered the poppy and then, had gone to the Intensive Care Unit to sit on Calleigh's side again.
Horatio sat there on the edge of the bed and looked at infinity. The lieutenant tenderly stroked Calleigh's thigh, but there wasn't any reaction, just like the past seventeen days.
§ All this feels strange and untrue, and I won't waste a minute without you... §
'I obviously need to get some rest, when I begin to hear Calleigh's favorite music,' Horatio frowned. Calleigh had gotten a little addicted to rock music since her first and unfortunately last pregnancy. Horatio and Calleigh had decided to have more than one child, when Calleigh had been about four months pregnant with his first child, but their wish to have at least three children, would never come true anymore.
§ I want so much to open your eyes, 'cause I need you to look into mine... §
Horatio unconsciously smiled: he did really want her to open her eyes.
When Calleigh had initially put the CD into the Hummer's CD-player, Horatio had frowned. She had been about six months along, and hadn't had strange habits... yet.
"Since when do you actually like them?" Lieutenant Caine had asked, lifting an eyebrow, finally recognizing the music of the alternative rock group.
"Someone used to have turned down the radio by now," Horatio had said teasingly.
CSI Duquesne had given her boyfriend a look that as much as said, 'I definitely can't help it! Our baby just loves alternative rock!'
"Someone's very bossy in there," Horatio had said, and had tenderly ran one hand over Calleigh's swollen belly.
There had been laughter on Horatio's lips, as he had felt the little Caine kicking.
When the baby had kicked for the first times, Horatio hadn't been able to feel it. The kicks hadn't yet been strong enough to feel on the outside. Though, when Calleigh had said she felt the baby kicking, he couldn't help but put his hands on her stomach, hoping he as well would feel it, even if his girlfriend had assured him it was only lightly. It hadn't been until she was twenty-two weeks along, that he had felt his daughter's kicks too. She had nearly always told him when the baby kicked and H. had liked it that way.
"Hopefully, she's not like that when she's older," Calleigh had pondered.
Not really in the circumstances they had planned to, but the couple had unexpectedly early discovered they were having a little daughter.
"When she's only sixteen, she'll be coming home at four in the morning; smashed, after she's painted the town red all night long, in the company of pierced guys!"
"Not if she's got a little of the one that's carried her... She doesn't necessarily have to be like her father," Calleigh had replied teasingly, internally hoping her daughter would look like the amazing man her father was.
"I truly hope she's going to be like you," Horatio had said, lovingly, "But not too much either. Because, otherwise, she's going to be pretty dangerous, especially with things like... guns."
"If she's quite stubborn, she's likely got it from–"
They had squabbled like that, the whole ride to the lab, and the funniest thing was they still hadn't decided who their daughter was going to resemble.
"Handsome?" Calleigh didn't even recognize her own voice, though the softness within it, pulled Horatio out of his deep thoughts. The female detective whimpered. Horatio noticed that she had definitely woken up and looked at her pure green eyes, which confusedly looked back at him. She was most definitely... awake.
"Hi, there... Sweetheart, you have been in a coma for seventeen days."
He gave her a little time to assimilate it.
"While you were in labor, you lost an unreasonable lot of blood. You got hypertension, and the meds you had been given couldn't make it stop, so they had to remove your womb and ovaries..."
Calleigh didn't say anything, but Horatio saw her puzzling everything out in her head, and concluding she couldn't have any more children.
"The IV you have been given after your womb and ovaries were removed, caused a huge anaphylactic shock with your meds to control gestational diabetes. The nurses succeeded in stabilizing you, but, then, you had gone comatose," Horatio explained, noticing the questioning look into her eyes, "Our daughter's doing perfectly fine at the moment. She's also been in surgery. She wasn't able to breathe independently, so they have put a tube into our little one's trachea. When the pediatrician is sure that her windpipe isn't going to close like it did right after the umbilical cord was cut through, the tube will be removed. She immediately turned blue after you delivered."
"Sweetheart, I have been running back and forth like an idiot between Neonatology and ICU for the past seventeen days," Horatio sighed, smiling, but then his smile faded and Cal noticed he was upset about something. "Calleigh... Your medics have told me you endured serious internal abdominal trauma."
Calleigh's bottom lip slightly quivered, and she stayed silent for a full minute. "Jake..." the woman eventually whispered and ducked her head like a badly-behaved dog.
Normally, when someone is sexually assaulted, there has to be an examination. The semen is meticulously collected for deoxyribonucleic acid identification. When CSI then runs this DNA through CODIS, the DNA-analysts are able to indicate the offender. Because Calleigh's water had broken right after, the 'evidence' had gotten compromised, though. No lab would ever be able to prove that ex MDPD Homicide Detective Jake Berkeley had actually raped CSI Duquesne.
To prove that Berkeley had turned her entire apartment upside down? There would be enough evidence, likely in the form of fingerprints, but the guy would never get punished for his other actions: for the rape of a female cop in advanced state of pregnancy, in gruesome way...
Horatio already realized it was going to be hard to prove Berkeley had actually raped Calleigh. Because he had ended up with a bullet in his left shoulder. The lieutenant would bring it into court, no matter how hard it was going to be, though, and would make sure that Berkeley got punished. That he got what he actually deserved; what Calleigh's ex boyfriend had asked for. A riled up Lieutenant Horatio Caine is someone you definitely don't want to meet in a dark alley. Everyone who ever succeeded in getting H. riled up, realized that to be a very dumb thing to do!
Horatio tenderly hugged his girlfriend, and stroked her lower back. She began to cry immediately.
"Sshhhh... C'mere, and cry on my shoulder. I'm not going, anywhere. I'm so happy that you finally woke up. I thought I lost the one I loved for the second time in my life. I truly love you, Detective Duquesne."
"I truly love you, too, Lieutenant Caine," Calleigh replied, and they both smiled at the similarity in their names.
"Music to my ears."
"Where's our daughter?" Calleigh suddenly asked. She seemed to have found her normal angelic soft voice. Horatio had already expected this question, and actually wondered why it had taken her so long to ask.
"Because she was so tiny, she had to stay in the NICU for a little while."
"I really wanna hold our baby girl, Horatio," Calleigh quietly stated.
"I haven't been able to hold our beautiful girl in my arms yet either," Horatio sighed, "She was so... fragile."
"Horatio?" she said on a tone in between asking and begging.
"I'll be right back," Caine said, kissing Calleigh's cheek and disappearing, leaving Calleigh alone in the Intensive Care Unit.
Only a few minutes later, which seemed more like hours to Calleigh, he returned with a gentle nurse, who brought her to a room on the first floor, where another nurse tucked in her beautiful baby daughter, who lay into a crib with blue covers.
After making sure everything was fine with mother and child, the nurses left. Calleigh had been waiting for this moment. "I really want to hold our daughter," she said.
Horatio consequently rolled his eyes, chuckling, and knew there was no way to argue. He moved to the crib and looked down at the innocent, breathing human being in there."Hi, there," he said, as he carefully put the covers aside, and even more carefully lifted the seventeen-day-old baby out of her crib. She didn't react; she just continued sleeping like a log.
Horatio sat on the edge of Calleigh's hospital bed. "She's so tiny," Calleigh said.
"She's not as tiny as she was."
Calleigh smiled, but it also hurt not having seen her daughter back then. Her boyfriend seemed to read her thoughts, because he said, "I took some pictures for you, so you would be able to see how much she's grown."
"She doesn't have a name yet. I wanted to decide together, but that's definitely going to take time," Horatio said, while rocking the little one and then so tenderly handing their baby girl to Calleigh. They had already known the sex of their baby, but Calleigh had wanted to wait for the baby to be born, to give their daughter a name that suited her.
Horatio had used all his power to postpone the naming of their daughter as long as possible. He had believed in the chance Calleigh was going to wake up, like he had believed in the chance both of them, mother and child, were going to survive as well.
"What do you think of 'Emily'?" Calleigh asked, suddenly popping up with a possible name for their daughter.
"Doesn't 'Emily' mean 'admiring' or something like that?"
Calleigh just nodded.
"What does our baby girl think?" Horatio said, tickling their little one's tummy.
Their baby daughter opened the most beautiful eyes her parents had ever seen; angelic, bright sapphire blue eyes looked at them.
"You obviously aren't the only angel who's opened her beautiful eyes today," Horatio said, kissing the lips of the mother of his child, who had regained a little color. "I guess she's fine with 'Emily'..."
"Emily Marisol Caine," she decided, wanting to add the name of Horatio's first wife.
Then she looked up at the father of her child, and noticed the laughter on the lieutenant's lips and the shine of tears into the same blue eyes as her daughter's, realizing she had made him think about Marisol Delko-Caine.
"Suits our daughter just right," he finally said, after a few minutes of silence. His voice sounded a little different.
"She's truly got your eyes."
"It's all she has from me... She's the spitting image of her mother."
Calleigh chuckled, her gaze noticing a poppy, between the tulips on the window-sill.
"Where did you get that poppy?" she asked, not remembering the nurse bringing the tulips along to her room at first floor.
"I picked it on the lawn of the hospital."
"It's very beautiful."
"Not... in comparison with this baby girl you have given us," Horatio said, looking down at Emily, as tears of happiness welled up into his bright sapphire blue eyes for the first time in too many years.
Interdum, lacrimae pondera vocis habent. (Tears sometimes have the power of words.)
- Quintus Horatius Flaccus
§ 'OPEN YOUR EYES' by SNOW PATROL; EYES OPEN
EMILY MARISOL CAINE
Dade Memorial Hospital