Author: Sara (callmedirk)
Fandom: CSI: Miami (Horatio/Marisol)
Prompt: April- Grief
Spoilers: S4's Shock, Rampage, One Of Our Own.
Warnings: Character Death, obviously.
The day he buried his wife made everything way too real. Delkos from every-freakin'-where had arrived for Marisol's funeral and Horatio found himself surrounded by in-laws and cousins of cousins of in-laws.
Overwhelmed, Horatio just wanted to cry, laugh, scream, and beg all at the same time. He kept hoping it was just a terrible dream, something all in his head—that none of this had ever happened. But as he watched them lay the mahogany casket into the ground, Horatio knew all too well that it was real.
He wanted so desperately to run forward, yank the lid open, and beg her to wake up and come back to him. But he knew he'd already tried that tactic, mere moments after the whining monitors had been turned off and her time of death officially declared and scribbled on a chart.
Horatio remembered thinking that he was too young to be a widow—and his thoughts drifted to that Marisol was too young in general, especially in death. His eyes shifted behind his dark glasses, looking at the Delko family members who had come, and his own family of Alexx, Ryan, Calleigh, and Frank standing right behind him.
A hand clasped his shoulder and he instinctively covered it with his own. Without looking, he knew it was Alexx. He swallowed and tightened his hold on her fingers.
The service seemed to last for ages. He just wanted to be alone with her—with what was left of her. But he had to stand there and watch as what had to be over 50 people lay roses on the casket and weep and sob their goodbyes and blessings. He slid his glasses off as Eric, his parents, and other sisters walked by and they all whispered to each other. Eric shook Horatio's hand and their eyes met and held for a moment. Then, Eric simply nodded. Horatio nodded back and reached out to squeeze Mrs. Delko's hand. She kissed his cheeks and whispered into his ear. Tears pricked his eyes and he nodded. He received brief hugs from Calleigh, Ryan, and Frank, and they headed off as well. Alexx stood silently for a moment next to Horatio and she rubbed a hand down his arm, smoothing the sleeves of his black suit.
"Do you want me to stay with you for awhile, Horatio?" she asked softly.
He turned slightly to look at her. His lips trembled as he gave her a small smile. His hand covered hers on his arm and he squeezed it.
"I'm fine, Alexx," he replied. "I—I'd just like to be alone for a little bit,"
She nodded, kissed his cheek, and walked off, leaving him to stand beside the casket. For a few minutes, Horatio just stood there, twisting his wedding ring around his finger, the gold band smooth and cold to his touch. His hand lifted to touch the casket, and every emotion he was feeling seemed to swirl around him. He was dizzy as he leaned forward to rest his forehead on the shiny wood.
"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," Horatio whispered. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you. I'm sorry—"
His throat closed and he choked back the tears that filled his eyes. Rubbing the back of his hand across his face, he drew in a deep breath. Calming enough to speak again, his lips parted.
"Never doubt that I loved you," he said. "I wanted to be with you for the rest of my life. I wanted children with you, Marisol. Never ever think that I didn't. I loved—I love you. Always."
He kissed his fingers and touched them to her casket, and then again to the photograph of them on their wedding day. The tears once again blurred his eyes and he slid his sunglasses back on. He trailed his fingers along the length of the casket.
Horatio finally walked away, his heart aching. He knew the weight of his grief would be heavy to lift, but he also knew that Marisol wouldn't want him to live in misery.
He would go back to work on Monday, and he'd avenge her death. It was the only way he knew how to deal and it was the only way he could make things right once again.