Speed followed Horatio into the house. Their house. Well... officially, Speed lived in an apartment about three miles away, but his nights, and many of his days had been spent in Horatio's house. He even had his own dresser, side of the closet, side of the bed, special couch pillow... the works.
Speed noticed that the house hadnâ€™t changed a bit. He was pleased, but slightly concerned at the same time. How long had he been gone? Why hadn't Horatio picked up the shirt that Speed had dropped onto the bed the morning of his last assignment? Everything else was fairly spotless, but... the shirt was still there, rumpled on the pillow.
Speed hurried back to Horatio's side, not wanting to be away from him for more than a few moments. Horatio was on the couch in the living room, staring at a picture of the two of them. Speed sat down beside him, grabbing his favorite cushion and settling it under his arm as he always did.
Horatio gasped and stared at the pillow. He slowly reached out, and Speed nearly laughed. Horatio reminded him of a kitten investigating something. It was all he could do not to jerk the pillow suddenly to see if Horatio would jump. He stayed still, however, because he couldn't be that mean. Horatio touched the pillow. He picked it up and looked at it from all directions. Finally, he shook his head and tossed the pillow back to its place on the couch.
Speed scowled. What the fuck? The pillow was inside him, resting on the couch as if he weren't sitting there. He squirmed away and put the pillow back where he wanted it. Horatio scrambled away, eyes wide. He jumped up from the couch and hurried to the liquor cabinet.
"I must be losing my mind," he muttered, pouring himself a shot of whiskey. He downed it in one gulp, then poured another. He held off on drinking it, taking another worried glance at the pillow. He waved dismissively at it. "Just stressed out, that's all," he said. He left the full shot glass on an end table and went to the bedroom. Speed hopped up and followed him, just to see what he was up to.
Horatio turned on the stereo and put on a CD Speed had made for him a few months ago. It was a compilation of songs that Speed listened to which Horatio didn't find horrendous and vice versa. It was supposed to be something to keep them sane while driving together, but Horatio had apparently brought it into the house since... then. Horatio lay down on his side of the bed. He took Speed's rumpled shirt, spread it across Speed's pillow and drew the pillow to him. He stroked the shirt for a few moments, then sighed and closed his eyes.
Speed watched, feeling sad again. He lay down in his own spot on the bed and rested his hand lightly on Horatio's. He must have already been asleep, because he didn't seem to notice. Speed hadn't felt sleepy since he got up on the morning of his last day, so he merely watched Horatio rest. He took the time to contemplate his situation. Here he was, in his house, with his boyfriend. But... not. Horatio couldn't see him. He could see Speed's affect on other things, and it seemed like he could feel Speed's presence now and then, but that was a far cry from being a living person for Horatio to love. Should he really hang around to watch Horatio live his life without him? What if he got a new boyfriend or something?
Speed didn't think he could deal with that. It wasn't fair. Horatio had a right to be happy, right? Of course, judging from Horatio's current state of mind, he wasn't about to get a new lover any time soon. So... why rush anything? If he wasn't meant to be here, he wouldn't be here, right? He would be consumed in the light or whatever. Or in hell. Hmmm... glad that's not the case . Maybe if he tried hard enough, he could really communicate with Horatio. Speed sighed. One thing at a time. For now, it was enough not to have lost Horatio completely. God, it was enough not to be stuck in that damned jewelry store anymore. Stupid store. He looked around the familiar room, and felt a twinge of gratitude. At least he was still here. Maybe he could do something good for H. Avert a bullet or something else heroic.
Speed felt Horatio move slightly, and he looked toward him. Horatio's eyes opened, and he looked groggily at Speed. A smile spread across his face. "Hi," he said sleepily.
"Hi!" Speed said, grinning ear to ear.
Horatio blinked again, then gasped and sat straight up in bed. He looked around, disoriented and upset. The brief moment was over. He couldn't see Speed anymore. Speed sighed, slightly disappointed, and sat up himself. Horatio jumped, clearly feeling the movement. He scrambled off the bed and fell the floor. Almost immediately, he jumped to his feet and stared at the bed, shaking violently. Speed frowned. The last thing he wanted to do was scare Horatio to death. He wanted to tell him to calm down, and that everything was okay, but he knew he wouldn't be heard. It would probably make things worse if Horatio did hear him.
Horatio backed out of the room, then ran and grabbed his whiskey. He gulped it down. He poured and drank three more in quick succession. He dropped the glass then stumbled toward the armchair. He lost his balance before he made it and stumbled to the floor. He looked around helplessly, buried his face in his hands and started to cry.
Speed knew it probably wasn't right, but he couldn't stop himself. He sat behind Horatio and wrapped his arms around him. Horatio shuddered and looked around wildly. Speed whispered, "Shhh," into his ear. Horatio cried harder, but he stopped looking around for the mystery person touching him. He leaned back into Speed's arms and gave vent to his tears. Speed held him tighter, keeping him close until he fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.
When Horatio was completely asleep, Speed pulled him backwards until he was leaning against the chair. He found a blanket and wrapped it tightly around Horatio. He considered putting him in bed, but he thought that might be a little too much for Horatio to deal with. As an afterthought, he closed the liquor cabinet and locked it. He hid the key in the refrigerator under some something that neither of them ever touched. Then, he sat near Horatio and went back to watching him sleep.