Chapter 1: Drawing Blood
"You've been awfully quiet, Mr. Wolf." Horatio says as the other man draws his blood. "Is there something on your mind?"
Ryan bites his lip, knowing what he has to say won't change anything. But he can't help voicing his thoughts anyway. "I just can't stop thinking of how this can all go wrong." When Horatio doesn't try to interrupt him, Ryan continues. "Ortega's men getting to you first. Caldwell missing and actually kill you." He shakes his head. "I don't like not telling the others. I understand why," Ryan emphasizes as Horatio is about to explain 'why' again. "I just don't like it."
"I know. I don't either." Horatio raises his hand to Ryan's cheek. Leaning forward, Horatio kisses him.
It's soft and gentle. A barely there meeting of lips that leaves Ryan breathless when the older man pulls away. Ryan opens his eyes. Realization of what the man knows hitting. "H, I-"
"We'll talk when this is over, Mr. Wolf." There's a small smile on the man's lips. For a moment, Ryan actually believes this plan will work.
That faith wavers as he tapes the blood bag to Horatio's chest.
Chapter 2: Miscommunications
It was a long and stressful day for Ryan. But as much as he wanted to go home and sleep it off, he had to see Horatio. He had to see for himself that man was okay.
Used to keeping his feeling buried, Ryan would have been satisfied just seeing the man. But as soon as Horatio saw him standing off to side from everyone else greeting him, the excused himself and approached Ryan.
"Mr. Wolfe," Horatio greeted him. "I was hoping if you were up to it that we have that discussion we mentioned earlier."
Ryan felt his face heat up slightly. "Sure."
Horatio smiled. "I have a few things to take care of first. I'll meet you outside and we can go somewhere more private to talk." As Horatio emphasized the word Ryan realized that a few CSIs and techs were watching them.
"I'd like that."
Ryan headed towards the locker room. As he getting was ready, Eric came in. For a moment, it was awkward silence as Eric went to his own locker. Ryan broke it first.
"No hard feelings, right?" Ryan asked.
"Yeah, we're good, Wolfe." Eric says with a smile.
Ryan was good to leave it there and head out to meet Horatio but then Eric added. "H already explained and everything."
Ryan hesitated, "Explained what?"
"That he only went to you because he knew no one would suspect you helping him with something like that." Mistaking Ryan's look of unease for confusion, Eric continued, "You and H aren't as close as H and me or H and Calliegh. No one would think he'd let you help with something like this."
"Yeah," Ryan sighed. "Yeah, you're right."
Chapter 3: Obvious Choice
Horatio went to meet Ryan outside the lab. He expected to find the man waiting for him but Ryan wasn't there. He waited a few minutes but the only person to come out of the building was Eric.
"Eric," Horatio called as he approached the man.
"What's up, H?"
"Have you seen Mr. Wolfe?"
"Yeah, in the locker room. He left about fifteen minutes ago."
Horatio wondered if something was wrong. "Did he seem alright to you?"
"Yeah, I guess." Eric thought for a moment before adding, "He did seem a little upset after we finished talking."
"Talking about what?"
"Well, Ryan was going to apologize for not telling me about the whole 'faking your death' thing. I told him we are fine and that you had already explained everything."
"What exactly did you tell him I explained?" Horatio pressed.
"That the only reason you asked him to help was because no one would ever think that you'd go to him to help with something like this."
Caine's grip on his sunglasses tighten. "Why would you say that to him?"
Confused, Eric answered, "Because that's what you told me."
Shaking his head, Horatio had to hold himself back from yelling. "No. I said the reason I couldn't go to you was because you are the obvious choice. That's not the reason I went to Ryan."
Eric was more confused now. "I don't understand. Why else would you go to Wolfe?"
"Many reasons, Eric," Horatio put his sunglasses on and headed towards the parking lot. "None of which concern you."