Title: Never Alone Genre: CSI: Miami Pairings: Ryan/Valera (Rave), Calleigh/Jake (Cake) and Eric/Natalia (Eden) Timeline: Post "Going Ballistic" (Season 6 finale) Rating: PG-13 or TV-14 (whichever you prefer) Disclaimers: I do not own the CSI Miami characters. I’m only borrowing them for entertainment purposes. Chapter One The Miami Dade CSIs were short-handed with Horatio in the hospital. The shooting setup went awry when the bullet didn't go exactly where it was supposed to. Horatio had a vest on, but he turned at the wrong second. However, the rest of the plan went as it was supposed to. Ron Saris was arrested for attempted murder and they were finally able to convict him. Delko was on desk duty since he had broken his leg while chasing a suspect. He couldn't go out in the filed. Valera was helping Ryan instead since Nat was working another case with Frank. The case Ryan and Valera were investigating was a particularly disturbing one. An apparent serial killer was on the loose, stalking couples. After the bodies were discovered, videos of each couple would show up on the Internet... sex videos. Valera noticed something similiar in the corner on each video... the barrel of a gun. She and Ryan realized that the couples must have been forced to make those videos. They were investigating the case when Ryan heard Valera scream. He instinctively grabbed his gun. "Valera!" He said, looking across to the other end of the car that they had been examining. He saw a guy holding a gun against Valera's head. The fear he saw on her face cut right through him. he wanted to do everything he could to protect Valera. "Let her go!" Ryan said. The guy just grinned at him. "We are Miami Dade Police. If you hurt her, you'll have every cop in Miami coming after you. Now let her go!" "Not gonna happen!" The guy said. "Drop your weapon or she dies." Ryan heard the gun cock and saw Valera wince. When he saw the tears starting to form in Valera's eyes, he had no choice. He raised his arms. "Okay, I'll do it. Just don't hurt her." "Sounds like you have feelings for this girl. I knew you two were a couple. I could sense it a mile away." Ryan didn't feel like arguing with the creep. He put his gun on the hood of the car in front of him. He knew that if he bent down, he might not get up. He saw something in Valera's eyes... a warning. There was another perp behind him. "Get his weapon, George." The taller man said. "Did you check her for weapons?" George asked. Ryan had to jump in because he didn't want the perps touching Valera. "She doesn't have one." Ryan told them. "This is her first time in the field. She has to pass her firearms test before she can carry a weapon. Her test isn't until next week." He knew none of that was accurate, but he also knew these two idiots wouldn't know the difference. He felt the barrel of a gun against his back as the second guy grabbed him. He had a sinking feeling that these were the guys they'd been looking for. He felt the fear rise in his gut. He would NOT let them hurt Valera in any way, including putting a video of her on the internet like they had done with the other victims. ~ ~ ~ "Hey, Eric." Calleigh answered her phone. "Calleigh, have you heard from Ryan and Valera?" "No, why?" "They should have been back by now." "I'll go to the scene and see if I can find them." "Don't go alone, Calleigh." "Don't be silly, Eric. I'm not alone. Jake's with me." "Jake?" "Yeah." "You two are back together?" "Eric..." "Nevermind. You might want to grab Frank now that he's done with the case he was working with Natalia. These creeps prey on couples. If you and Jake go alone..." "Got it, Eric. I'll let you know if I find out anything." ~ ~ ~ Ryan and Valera were taken into a house and into a back room. "Now..." One of the men said. "Let's get down to business." Creeps! Ryan thought, after the men told them what they wanted. "No, I can't do that to her." Ryan said. "You can't? Why not? Are you impotent or something?" The second guy, George asked. "No, of course not!" Ryan replied. "Then why can't you?" "Because I respect her too much to let her privacy be violated." "Listen," the first guy said, "it's either you or me." He glanced at Valera, licking his lips. Valera shuddered. "And I won't be gentle." Valera flinched and instinctively grabbed Ryan's hand. "Ryan, it's okay." She hugged him. She leaned her mouth against his ear. "I have a plan." She whispered, but he could feel her shaking a little. He knew she was afraid that they'd end up like the other couples. She took a deep breath and then let it out. She kissed him, grabbing his hand and putting it at the side of her bra (on the outside of her shirt). Ryan knew that he should probably be paying attention to the perps, but he was taken by surprise when Valera kissed him. He had imagined many times what it would feel like to kiss her. He couldn't help it, but at the moment, all he could think about was her lips on his. Her voice brought him out of his daze. "Ryan." She whispered, taking his hand and sliding it underneath her shirt. "Now that's what I'm talking about." George said. Ryan felt something taped to the side of Valera's bra... a gun. He felt himself smirk slightly. She did have a plan after all. "Is it loaded?" He whispered. "No, that's what the earrings are for." She whispered back. He looked confused until he realized that her earrings were bullets. he smiled again. "They'll work." She whispered before kissing him again. "Move to the bed." The taller man ordered them. They obeyed. As Ryan and Valera continued their show, kissing each other, Ryan carefully removed the bullets from Valera's earrings. He made sure the perps didn't notice. Ryan then passed the bullets into Valera's hand before reaching back under her shirt to get the gun. "Do you want to pull the trigger or shall I?" Valera whispered to Ryan. "Calleigh gave me the earrings in case you were wondering. She said they were good luck. She knew about the gun I carry with me. It's almost as if she knew I'd need it." Valera laoded the gun from behind Ryan (where the guys couldn't see). Ryan could tell that Valera was nervous, so he did the only thing he could. He decided to talk to her to help her stay calm. However, he meant every word that he said. "Valera, I really... I like you." "I know, Ryan." She smiled warmly. "I like you too." "This isn't how I imagined our first kiss." He told her. "It is odd. If were were alone right now, I would show you the time of your life." He grinned slightly as she slyly passed the gun to him. "I have no doubt about that, Maxine." He said. They heard a click from the gun. "What was that?" George asked. "My leg popped." Valera said quickly. "Oh. Well, come on... get on with it." "Ready?" Ryan asked Valera. She nodded. "On three." She kissed him. "For luck." He counted to three before laying her against the mattress, shielding her body with his own (just in case). He quickly shot both perps, hitting the closer one (whose name he did not know) in the head. He hit the second one in the chest. Realizing that the bad guys were dead, Ryan let out a breath that he didn't realize he'd been holding. He looked at Valera and saw the tears in her eyes. He pulled her into his arms, running his palm over the back of her hair. "It's okay, Max." He said softly. "It's all over now." He placed a kiss against her temple as he continued to hold her. "Ryan..." She whispered. "I'm sorry, Max." "For what?" "I should have done something sooner." "What are you talking about, Ryan?" "I saw the fear in your eyes, Max. When that guy had the gun pointed at you. I felt you flinch when he said he'd hurt you if I didn't do what he wanted I hated that those creeps made you feel that way, but I hated more that I couldn't do a damn thing about it." "Ryan, none of this was your fault." She said, putting her hand against his cheek. "You did what you could. Please don't blame yourself for any of this." "What if you hadn't had that gun, Max? What would we have done then? I couldn't let them humiliate you or hurt you. I wouldn't have let that happen. You have to know, Max... I..." He paused, looking into her eyes. "If it had come to the worst... like what they did to the others..." He paused again. "Max, you have to know that I would have protected you till my last breath. I would have died protecting you from those monsters." Valera had never seen Ryan like this. She was glad that he was being so honest with her. He was actually hurting because she was. She couldn't help but kiss him softly on the lips. "What was that for?" He asked. "Thank you." "For what?" "For being so honest. Most guys would probably hide behind bravado." She said. "But being honest shows true bravery." "I'm just glad that you're okay, Max. I never would have let them hurt you." "I know, Ryan." She said as they heard voices in the other room. "Oh, God! Are there more of them?" "Shh..." He whispered. "We don't have anymore bullets, Ryan." "My gun is around here somewhere." He said, looking all over the room. "Crap! It's not here!" "Ryan..." She said, getting scared again. "It's okay." He said, pulling her into his arms. "No one will hurt you, Max. Not as long as I can help it." === I have more written, but my head is hurting right now. I think I'm gonna go lie down for a while until it stops.