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Written for Bev.
Horatio settled into the bath, sighing. Everything ached. Just another Christmas in Miami; where even the criminals didn't stop for the day. He was glad he'd had something to keep him occupied, the idea of Christmas spent alone in his office hadn't appealed, but he could have done without the acrobatics. Being flung thirty feet into the water below had left him chilled and aching, even now, hours later, he could still feel it.

The hot water of the bath seeped into him, easing the chills and soothing the aches, but he had a feeling it was going to be days before they really went away. Maybe he was getting too old to be chasing criminals like that.

The sound of the door made him groan, wondering if he could just ignore it, but a second knock made him doubt that and reluctantly he dragged himself out of the bath, donning his robe as he headed for the door.

"Speed?" Horatio asked, surprised. He hadn't expected to see his CSI until tomorrow.

"Eric's mom sent me over some dinner, but it's way too much for just one person..." Speed looked uncomfortable standing there, in his jeans and a shirt that looked to big for him. A bag filled with... really delicious smelling goodies, in his hand.

"Come in, I'll just get dressed," Horatio told him.

Speed paused at the door still. "I didn't mean to intrude, if..."

"You aren't, I'd like some company and a smart man never turns down Mama Delko's food," Horatio said, smiling softly.

Speed seemed to relax and followed him inside. Horatio smiled to himself, Speed had never been inside his home before and he could see him cataloguing everything. "Make yourself at home," Horatio told him, going to get dressed.

Coming back dressed in casual slacks and a shirt, his feet bare, Horatio wasn't surprised to see Speed had taken him at his word, finding plates and glasses, pouring wine, and serving the meal, Horatio watched him, unused to this domestic side of his CSI.

"What?" Speed questioned, shifting uncomfortably under Horatio's gaze.

Horatio smiled. "Nothing," he assured him easily, but he didn't stop staring.

"Horatio," Speed sounding vaguely exasperated. "You're still staring."

"Just not used to this side of you," Horatio said. "Domestic... it suits you," he added, moving towards the table, only to be stopped by Speed's hand on his arm.

"There are a lot of sides to me you haven't seen," Speed murmured.

Horatio could have taken that many ways and he probably should have, but Speed was there beside him, warm and real... Horatio could smell his aftershave... and he should have taken it another way. He should have smiled and nodded, sat down and enjoyed the meal and the company and ignored the heat coiling in his gut, but he didn't. Seeking permission in Speed's eyes, Horatio leaned in, just enough for Speed to meet him in the middle.

Horatio wasn't a romantic and he wouldn't say the kiss was mind blowing, but it definitely classed as life changing, because there was no way now that he could let Speed go, no way when they were wrapped around each other, pressed against each other, warm and needy and real that he could give this up, give up the feelings bubbling in his chest, lust and need, passion and love... love because Horatio had loved Speed for so long, from afar and to be so close now... Horatio felt weak with the rightness of it.

"H..." Speed whispered, his breath tickling Horatio's lips, still close enough to kiss again and again. "I... I love you," Speed said, so softly Horatio almost didn't hear it, so fearful that it almost broke Horatio's heart.

"I love you too, Speed... Tim," Horatio said, capturing Speed in another kiss, a silent promise.

And it really shouldn't have been so easy and tomorrow, Horatio would probably find a million reasons it shouldn't happen and it couldn't work, but those thoughts could wait until tomorrow, tonight he was going to have Speed, by his side, in his bed and he was going to enjoy it.

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