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Dec. 31st, 2030

"Hey, this is Speed. I'm not home; you know the drill."

muse_shuffle Disc 2 Track 17

17. And it must feel nice (It must feel nice)/To leave no trace
That somebody needs you/And that somebody is me

[Moonland – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds]

It always astonished him, how well and truly a person could disappear if they really wanted to. He had seen it happen most often with suspects or those awaiting trial; rather than face the consequences of their actions they simply picked up and left town and it was as if they never even existed.

But Megan wasn't a criminal defendant, or even a suspect. She was his former supervisor, co-worker, friend. When Tim had first started to seriously consider a career in forensics Megan had been the one who guided him. Megan told him the best courses to take at Columbia and was always willing to answer if he called her with a question about something. When he'd graduated with his honors degree Megan had come up both to see it and to personally offer him the internship at the Miami-Dade crime lab.

If Speed really wanted to be honest with himself, Megan hadn't disappeared the day she turned in her resignation from the lab. She had started to disappear the day that her husband was pulled from the roof along with that jumper. It might not have seemed like it to Calleigh or Eric, but they hadn't been working in the lab as long as Speed had. They didn't know Megan like he did. The Megan that came back to work five months after they'd buried Kevin Donner wasn't the same Megan that had taught him how to dust for prints and quizzed him on fibers over the telephone. He'd wanted to call her, especially after the shooting. There had to be some way to keep Megan from disappearing from his life completely. But by the time Speed finally got around to dialing, her phone was disconnected; she'd either changed her number or else moved out of the Miami completely.

And he wondered if their friendship was even worth salvaging after all this time.

Muse: Tim Speedle
Word count: 315
199. TEN people you'd never give up.

1. Alexx. She's been his "mom" ever since he started shadowing his best friend's uncle around the crime lab.

2. Eric. No one could ever fill the hole Lucas left in Speed's heart when he died, but his friendship with Eric has done a lot towards healing that wound.

3. Calleigh. He may have joked about Calleigh being "way too cheerful", but in all honesty he's come to admire that optimistic attitude of hers.

4. Ryan. Wolfe's come a long way since his days of being a rookie.

5. Valera. His favorite lab tech (although he'll deny it in public).

6. Joel Speed's discovered that having a younger brother isn't that bad after all.

7. Horatio. If it hadn't been for H, he'd be dead.

8. Megan. Not even if she's given up him and everyone else she used to work with.

9. Natalia. She's come a long way, too. She's part of their team.

10. Frank. Who else would put up with them for so long?
196. TEN things you could never part with.

1. His bike.

2. A picture of him, Lucas and two of their other friends taken during senior year, a few months before the disastrous ski trip.

3. His cellphone.

4. A copy of Megan's letter of recommendation for his internship with the Miami-Dade crime lab.

5. That damn tacky Hawaiian shirt Lucas gave him as a gag gift.

6. His father's secret recipe for peanut brittle, even if it is damn-near impossible to make in Florida. His dad would probably kill him if he gave it up.

7. The journal he kept during his stint in the hospital.

8. His diploma from Columbia.

9. His badge.

10. His job.

muse_shuffle April Disc 2 Track 19

19. They hold my hand and ask me to pull through/A voice I know says dear, he probably can’t hear you...
[‘Air’ – Ben Folds Five]

Comas are funny things.

Most of the time it was just like being asleep, a deep sleep; the kind where you wake up and you're momentarily disoriented about where you are and what you might have been up to last night before rolling over onto your side and going back to sleep. But there's no turning over here because the slightest movement sends pain shooting through his body, though he can't remember why, and only sleep brings relief from it.

Then there were the other times that didn't really have a name. It was like being awake but being asleep at the same time - he could hear things happening around him, hear voices, but couldn't see anything because he lacked the strength to open his eyes. And he was too tired to put names to the familiar voices he heard talking to him. But he heard them, their words of encouragement, their conversations about his health and about an investigation into some shooting.

He may have dreamed, he might not have. If he did they were forgotten when he finally woke up in the hospital two days later, his mouth tasting like an old sweat sock and his shoulder throbbing in time with his pulse and recalling those last minutes at the jewelry store clear as day.

Muse: Tim Speedle
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Word count: 218
187. TEN things people wouldn't expect you to own.

1. A photocopy of an obituary for a maintenance worker at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse, NY.

2. The Complete Sherlock Holmes two-volume set by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

3. DVDs of the first four movies the Marx Brothers made, before Zeppo left the group.

4. A copy of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

5. A box of colored pencils, and a sketchpad.

6. A St. Michael's medal. Lucas' mom sent it to him after she heard that he had been shot in the line of duty.

7. A copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Tim claims that it belongs to his younger brother, and he forgot it the last time he came down to Miami for a visit.

8. At least a third of his music collection is comprised of Broadway soundtracks, including the albums for RENT, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and Jekyll & Hyde.

9. There's a Hawaiian shirt hanging in the back of his closet that Lucas got him for his birthday as a gag gift during their junior year of high school. Even though the thing is tacky as all get-out, Speed can't bring himself to throw it out.

10. A Get Fuzzy daily desk calendar.
171. TEN different things you want to say to ten different people

1. To Wally Schmagin: I'm sorry. And I never meant what I said about CSI work being "just a paycheck".

2. To Megan: Do I mean that little to you now, that you couldn't even bother sending a card or something after I got shot?

3. To Eric: You'd better treat Calleigh right, or else I'm going to kick your ass.

4. To Calleigh: Don't be too hard on Eric. He means well.

5. To Ryan: You really are an asset to the lab and I'm glad to have the opportunity to work with you. Now, just remember to keep your head out of your ass.

6. To Alexx: I really miss seeing you around the lab. It's not the same place without you.

7. To Lucas: Miss you, man.

8. To Clavo Cruz: Roast in hell, you sonofabitch.

9. To anyone who has attempted/will attempt it: Don't f--k with our lab.

10. To H: I get it now.

muse_shuffle March Disc 1 Track 7

07. I dream I'm at a crossroads no place left to go,/I look in each direction a'eenie a'meanie a'miny mo
[‘Fun For Me’ - Moloko]

The question of what he was going to do next had weighed heavily on Speed's mind during those first days in the hospital.

First and foremost, there was the IAB investigation to get through. Tim knew that was going to be a load of laughs in the most sarcastic sense of the phrase. He already had a black mark on his record from Dispo Day; having the same thing happen again not two years later was practically damning, especially considering the fact that what could be construed as his negligence had nearly gotten him killed. Just about the only thing he had on his side was Calleigh's examination of his gun, which had proven that his gun had jammed because of a mechanical failure and not because he'd been lapse in cleaning it.

And then there was the question that kept him awake at night: did he want to go back to work? This was the third time in three years he'd come close to being killed, and the second time it had occurred in the line of duty. He thought about his family up in New York, in particular his younger brother. Maybe this was a sign that he was supposed to leave Miami and try to rebuild his bond with his family before something really unfortunate happened. Of course, it would be an easier decision to make if it turned out that he wouldn't have a job to go back to once he got out of the hospital...

But then he would remember Tess Kimball and Michelle Cormier. He remembered Wally Schmagin. He remembered asking Horatio "why forensics?", and getting his answer in seeing H talk to Michelle Cormier's folks about the arrest of their daughter's killer. Tim was still needed to help speak on the behalf of victims like them, to help bring closure to their families.

But, all of that rested on IAB's findings. Which meant that, for the time being, his entire future was in limbo.

Muse: Tim Speedle
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Word count: 331

muse_shuffle February Disc 1, Track 03

03. Superman never made any money/For saving the world from Solomon Grundy
And sometimes I despair the world will never see/Another man like him

[‘Superman’s Song’ – Crash Test Dummies]

Speed sighed and barely restrained himself from showing his disgust as the jury foreman read off the "not guilty" verdict, prompting the defendant to grin broadly before turning to shake hands with his lawyer. He stood up and left the courtroom without sparing a second glance for the man - or for the family of the woman the defendant was alleged to have killed.

No case was ever easy, but it was the cases that ended up like this one that Tim hated especially. They always made him start second-guessing himself, wondering if there had been something, some piece of evidence that he'd missed that would have been the difference between an acquittal and a conviction.

As he walked out of the courthouse, Tim caught sight of a familiar thatch of red hair by a Hummer in the parking lot. Horatio looked up and caught Speed's eye. Speed knew without a word that they had another crime scene.

"Least they could have done is let me change first," Speed muttered as he climbed into the Hummer. He knew without looking that his kit was already back there. Beside him, as he climbed into the driver's seat and started the vehicle, H chuckled.

Muse: Tim Speedle
Fandom: CSI Miami
Word count: 202

Feb. 27th, 2009

170. TEN things on your to-do list.

1. Pay bills.

2. Get trace results to H.

3. Go grocery shopping.

4. Call Alexx.

5. Finalize plans to go up and visit New York.

6. Go out with Wolfe to interview a suspect in the Schaeffler homicide.

7. Analyze trace from another homicide.

8. Eat lunch.

9. Purchase motor oil for his bike.

10. Clean his gun.