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18 December 2006 @ 06:59 pm
 
Title: Perfect
Author: Ali
Rating: Be damned if I know! Nothing rudey-nudey and not a single curse (I swear!)
Word Count:1,980 (If Caro can break it so can I!)


Author's Notes: Long story short(-ish), I collapsed today and had to be sent to the Hospital for tests. I'm going to be at home for a while, so I thought I'd put the time to good use. First time I've posted here, and first time I've posted anything in a long time, so feedback would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and it started out as a drabble, and morphed into a full blown story. Whatcha gonna do?

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Eric had spent an eternity looking for just the right one. All of his days off had gone towards his frantic search for just the ideal piece, by now he had visited every jewellers in Miami at least once, some even more so. He had seen every stone, gem, cut and band known to man, hoping that one day one would jump out to him and proclaim itself just the gift for the job. Today was that day.

As soon as he had set his eyes on it, Eric knew it was the one. Nestled in amongst a large display, it would have been almost too easy to miss, but it he had been drawn to it subconsciously; platinum and diamonds, such a simple combination. He had seen many more extravagant and elaborate pieces during his hunt. This one was simple, yet beautiful. It didn’t need vivid colours and oversized stones to stand out; it was noticed purely because of what it was, much like the woman it was intended for. It didn’t need to try to get your attention because it commanded upon sight anyway. Just like Calleigh; it was perfect.

Soon Eric found himself sitting in his car outside Calleigh’s apartment, rain pounding against the windshield. He silently stared at the bracelet in his hand, mulling over exactly what he wanted to say to her in his mind. He had parked around the corner so he wouldn’t be noticed, allowing himself some time to think things through before he stormed up to her door with all guns blazing. He didn’t think that a few minutes was too much to ask, he was about to make the most important announcement of his life.

It was shortly after his return from Rio that Eric had finally decided to admit to Calleigh his true feelings about her. A lot had happened recently, from his sister’s tragic death, to Calleigh’s underwater ordeal, to his own near-death experience, that had forced him to seriously rethink the way his life was heading. The thought of losing her without her ever knowing how he felt turned his stomach upside down. It was the next day that he had set out jewellery shopping. He had walked past the rings quickly. Eric wasn’t crazy; he loved Calleigh, but he wasn’t about to propose to her, at least not just yet. He knew Calleigh, and he knew precisely how she would react to a shock out of the blue like that. She would put her walls back up and retreat into her shell, and that was the last thing he wanted. He was just looking for a gift, something that would help him express exactly how he felt about her since words had failed him so many times before.

Finally, Eric mustered up the courage to go inside. He began to trek up the stairs, his heart pulsating faster with every step. His hand darted in and out of his pockets, nerves causing him to constantly check that he still had the gift in tow. His hands began to clam up as he approached her door and he began to feel extremely anxious. Taking one deep breath, he steadied himself and gently rapped his fist on her front door.

It felt like an eternity before it swung open and the blonde appeared from the other side. “Eric? What are you doing here?”

Although more butterflies were swimming in his stomach by the minute, Eric couldn’t help but smile when he caught first sight on her. She tended to have that effect on people. “Hey Cal, can I talk to you for a minute?”

He was pleased; at least he’d managed to get one sentence out without error. Calleigh didn’t respond, just stared at him intently, making him all the more nervous. He looked away from her and fiddled uncomfortably with his shirt collar. “Are you okay?” she asked, taking in her colleague’s flustered appearance for the first time.

Eric gulped heavily, trying to avert the dryness in his throat. The tension he was feeling was just about killing him. He began to splutter out another sentence, “I’m, uh, I’m fine. There’s just something I need to talk to you about.”

“Sure, come in.” She pushed the door open further and ushered him inside, concern etched across her delicate features. He took a seat on her couch and silently attempted not to watch her as she hurried around the kitchen, finishing making the coffee she had been preparing before he came. Eric had been in her house many times before, and he had never, ever felt this awkward. Calleigh peered over at him; it was hard not to notice how tense he looked and how he seemed to be entranced by the sight of his own hands, staring down at them with such forced energy. “You want a drink?” she called out.

Her voice brought him out of his trance, but he still couldn’t bring himself to look at her as he laboured to utter a reply. “No thanks.”

Through fear that the growing lump in his throat would render him speechless if he waited much longer, Eric decided that now was the moment for him to pour his heart out to the woman he loved more than life itself. Inhaling deeply, his prepared speech all but forgotten, Eric internally looked into his heart for the right words to tell Calleigh what he had kept hidden for over 5 years.

“Look, Calleigh, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now, a long while, and I guess I just never…”

A loud noise derailed his train of thought and Eric trailed off. His heart was racing so fast that it was all he could register at that point in time. Head still bowed, Eric failed to see the brunette haired man slam the door behind him and saunter into the room, making a direct course for Calleigh. “Hey babe.”

Once again it was the blonde’s gorgeous southern drawl that brought him out of his reverie, and Eric snapped his head up just in time to see the pair welcome properly each other with a slow kiss on the lips.

Eric’s heart broke that very moment. He could hardly believe what he was seeing. He was frozen to the spot with a look of complete shock and total sadness masking his handsome face. The pair wandered over hand in hand to where he was sat, Calleigh uncharacteristically not showing displeasure at the sign of affection in public. Instead she was grinning from ear to ear, and not with one of the fake smiles that Eric had seen her give people when they inquired as to her well-being, a proper smile of real happiness. The way she used to smile at him.

“Jake, you’ve met Eric right?”

Jake absentmindedly extended his hand to the Cuban, and Eric shook it on instinct, still unable to fully comprehend what he had just witnessed. With another quick kiss, Jake left the room, leaving the two CSI’s alone again. Calleigh settled herself down in the big overstuffed chair next to Eric. She looked towards him again, but he had already turned away from her.

“Look at me, Eric.”

He shifted uncomfortably to face her, yet still not looking her in the eye. She examined him closely, he looked just as unwell as he had when he first turned up on her doorstep, but there was something a lot less cheerful about his appearance. “You don’t look right, are you sure you don’t have a fever?”
Without warning, Calleigh brought the back of her hand up to Eric’s forehead, pressing gently against it in order to gauge his temperature. The sudden feeling of her silky skin on his caused Eric to jump slightly, and he finally turned to look at her, taking in the full sight of her for the first time that evening. In that moment, Eric had never felt so miserable in all his life. From here he could see how her golden tresses fell around shoulders, framing her picture perfect face so brilliantly. He could smell the wonderful scent she gave off, a mixture of cocoa butter and vanilla that he was sure he’d rather breathe in than air, and he could feel the warmth and softness of her touch, how he longed to feel every inch of her soft skin. But worst of all, he could feel her bright, emerald orbs gleaming down on him, reminding him of all the trouble he’d went through to find the present that rested painfully in his jacket, and how he’d never get to see the priceless look on her face as she opened it.

All of a sudden, a wave of nausea hit Eric, followed by another, and many more after that in quick succession. His head was spinning, which made perfect sense since his world had just been turned upside down. His heart was beating faster than ever, and began to feel claustrophobic being in the same room as Calleigh. He was sweating profusely, and the tension has become all too much for him to bear.

“I’m sorry, I’ve got to go,” he croaked out as he jumped up from the couch, nearly knocking Calleigh off-balance in the process. He made a move for the door, but she spun around quickly, grabbing his arm before he could get out of reach.

“Wait!” she yelled, positioning herself in front of him again, “You never got to tell me what you wanted to.”

Eric felt as though he were about to keel over and violently puke every organ out of his body. He couldn’t think, hell, he could barely breathe. Once again, he swallowed hard and suppressed the lump in his throat, opting to just tell her the first thing that came into his mind. “Um, Horatio wanted me to tell you that the Morrison case has been set a trail date.” And with that, he fled, not even bothering to see if she had bought it or not. Instead, he made a mad dash to the door, not stopping until he was around the corner and near the safety of his own vehicle once again.

He dropped to his knees, not caring that he was getting covered in dirt and the rain was beginning to seep through his flimsy clothes, instead he embraced it, sitting down and resting his head against his ride, hoping the rain could wash away all the painful emotions he had experienced today. Eric pulled the gift box out of his pocket, forcefully ripping the bracelet out of its wrapping. He stared at it intently, gritting his teeth to try and stop the onslaught of tears that were attacking the corners of his eyes. He took one last look at the jewellery, thinking about what it symbolised. It had meant so much to him, he’d put all his heart and soul into finding something that mirrored his love for Calleigh. This piece of metal and rock and been the most important thing in his life for over three months, and now, it was the thing he despised most in the entire world. With a hateful glare, Eric tossed it as far as her could, watching as it fell into a puddle of mud and dirty water, now tarnished just as the day was. He sat there dejected, letting the myriad of emotions rip through him like many of the violent hurricanes he had experienced during his time in Miami. Over 5 years, he had known and loved Calleigh Duquesne, and it was a waste of time.

Content to stay and hope the rain could wash away all his pain, Eric realised one thing; you can have the perfect ring, the perfect gift, and the perfect words, but it all means nothing if she’s already got the perfect man.
 
 
Current Location: Erm, My House
Current Music: Anna Nalick - Breathe (2AM)
 
 
 
Jessicacarolinacutie87 on December 18th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
Ahhh! Ali wrote fic!! :D
And just why haven't you posted anything before?

Aw. Poor Eric. :(
And as much as I love that you threw Jake into this, I feel so bad for Eric. Calleigh's his. Perfect ending, too.

So yeah...even if it made me sad, I still loved it and demand you write more. :D
CSI_Aliliberatedspirit on December 18th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
I love you both :). I really don't know why I haven't posted before, I've very critical of my own stuff, so I hardly ever get around to finishing things. More comments like that and I'll keep writing though.

I was in a very angsty mood today, as you can tell. I needed to have a third party in there, so I threw in Jake. I don't like them together, Cal's only man is Eric, it says so on his butt tattoo :D.
señora beaverhausen: [ house ] it's in the vaultsombras_azules on December 19th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Left you a review at ff.net, and I'm friending you here (it's Caro = midnight_tiptoes).
ss_momo on January 7th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)
Ahh Omg I absolutly loved that. Very sad, but still awesome.