Fandom: CSI: Miami
Pairing: Horatio Caine/Maxine Valera
Summary: Pretending nothing had happened.
Notes: Set during ‘Hurricane Anthony’, slight spoilers for the episode.
Horatio found himself wandering the halls, not aimlessly but with a clear destination in mind: the DNA lab. Horatio hoped that Valera would have something for him.
Maxine Valera was currently an interesting topic in Horatio’s mind. A woman he had a one night stand with several weeks ago. A woman he could not seem to dislodge from his thoughts. Despite their agreement to forget about what had happened between them, she continued to invade his thoughts.
Valera was still quite nervous around him and Horatio was not sure if it was just because he was the boss or because he had an… intimate knowledge of her. Some days this reaction amused Horatio but other times he thought maybe he should talk to her about it. Not that Horatio had any idea what he would say. All he knew was that he did not want her to be uncomfortable around him.
Horatio arrived at the DNA lab and attracted Valera’s attention, asking about the blood sample from the nails. As expected, Valera had a nervous air about her and addressed him as, “Sir.”
He did not stay in the DNA lab for long, wary that he may have been making Valera uncomfortable.
Horatio went back to work, following up on all the threads of information he had pulled so far. Determined that he would find out what had happened to Martin Medesto, for his wife and unborn child.
Later in the day Horatio returned to the DNA lab, hoping his second request would be more productive than the first.
Valera glanced up at Horatio, noting that he had changed suits since their last encounter. Gone were the black suit and blue shirt, replaced by a beige suit and matching white striped shirt. Valera took a moment to decide which outfit she preferred, before realising that was probably not something she should be thinking about, particularly at work. Valera ducked her eyes quickly, hoping he didn’t notice her appraisal of him.
“Hi,” Horatio greeted softly, toying with the evidence in his hands.
“Hey,” Valera returned equally softly.
“I need you to run this sample from the car against the blood sample I gave you earlier,” Horatio explained, stepping over to Valera and handing her the sealed cue-tip.
“Okay,” Valera replied slowly, not sure she saw the link between the two cases. Valera’s curiosity got the better of her and she asked, “Why?”
Horatio shrugged slightly and replied cryptically, “Just following the evidence.”
Valera turned her body on the stool, allowing her to fully face Horatio. Only then did Horatio realise that he had unconsciously edged closer to Valera and was now standing very much in her personal space. Valera did not seem to mind.
Their eyes locked and they both grinned sheepishly at each other, caught in the moment. Horatio was first to break away, feeling like he had over stepped a line somewhere. Although he did not know what bordered the line.
“What happened to your head?” Valera asked quietly, surprising Horatio by running a gentle finger along the cut.
Horatio glanced back up at Valera. “Run in with a reluctant evacuee,” he explained simply. Horatio surprised himself by giving up that information so easily, when it had taken several attempts on Yelina’s part to extract the same response.
Valera nodded, the movement caused Horatio to realise that he was leaning even closer to her. Horatio moved away quickly and re-established a more appropriate distance between them. Both looked slightly embarrassed.
“Uh,” Horatio stumbled over his words, raising his eyebrows as he did so. “Let me know when you get the results,” Horatio instructed.
“Yes Sir,” Valera replied as Horatio turned to leave.
Horatio stopped in his tracks and turned back, reminding her, “You really don’t have to call me ‘Sir’, very few people actually do. Horatio or H, will do just fine.”
“Good.” This time Horatio really did turn and leave the DNA lab.
Valera spotted Horatio standing outside the DNA lab and quickly made her way out to him, grabbing his results as she did so.
Horatio’s head was down, studying his fingertips, so Valera called out to him, drawing his attention and stopping him from wandering off. Valera resisted the urge to use his rank, saying his name instead, just as he had instructed on multiple occasions now.
Both were conscious of their earlier lapse in professionalism and made sure to maintain some distance between them.
Valera found herself rambling as she explained the results to Horatio. As she studied Horatio’s reaction, Valera noted the narrowing of his eyes and realised that this was the outcome he had expected. Horatio was not following the evidence; he was one step ahead of it.
Horatio thanked Valera and she smiled to herself, oddly pleased by his approval.
Valera and Horatio parted then, she suspected he was off to close the case. Sitting back at her workstation Valera thought over the day and in particular her encounters with Horatio.
She had felt drawn to him each time they had been alone. Valera could not believe that she had been bold enough to touch Horatio’s cut and ask him about its origin, in the middle of the lab of all places. But, Horatio had not pulled away from her immediately, which surprised her.
The whole situation confused Valera, but she figured that her best option was still to stick to their original agreement and pretend nothing had happened.
Horatio was no less confused than Valera.
Horatio was stood in the PD building, staring out at the horizon.
Yelina would be waiting for him later that evening, along with Ray Jr. Horatio had extended an offer of assistance which Yelina had accepted.
Horatio’s sister-in-law. The woman who somehow always managed to make him trip over his own tongue. The woman he could never quite figure out his feelings for.
His relationship with Yelina was decidedly complicated. And the complications kept piling on.
A woman he had known for only a few weeks. A woman who now regularly invaded his thoughts. A woman who had shared his bed for mere hours; she had not even stayed the full night.
Earlier in the DNA lab, Horatio had responded to Valera’s gentle caress. They had been so close in that moment but, Horatio did not know how they had arrived at that point. Somehow, the pair had just ended up that way. They had been drawn to each other.
The whole situation confused Horatio, but he figured that his best option was still to stick to their original agreement and pretend nothing had happened.