Yo, Cath, are you Warrick had popped his head into the bathroom, just as her stomach rejected the snack she tried to have earlier. Alright?
She groaned and used the paper towel she had grabbed earlier to wipe her mouth. Yeah, Im fine. She avoided his eyes; she knew she wasnt okay, and she didnt want her coworker to worry.
Warrick? Gils voice could be heard from the locker room door. Have you seen Catherine?
Uh, yeah. He muttered, just as Catherines stomach heaved again, tossing the remnants of the granola bar up and out. She groaned and slipped back against the cool wall. Gil heard the noise and came rushing to the bathroom. Shes, uh, in here.
Catherine smiled weakly and waved. She didnt want to worry Gil, even though she knew he would. Hey, Gil.
Should you even be working? He eyed her, checking her over for visible signs of illness. She knew he wouldnt find any. Youve been in here once already since the beginning of shift.
Warricks eyebrows lifted. Really. Suddenly you dont seem so fine to me.
She grumbled as she stood up to wash her mouth and hands. Oh, both of you, knock it off. Im fine. She dried her hands off on a hanging towel. Did you want something, Gil?
He smiled despite her chilly nature. Warrick backed out of the doorway, muttering something about being the third wheel, and headed out of the room. Even Catherine had to smile. Nothing other than Im going out to check a joggers death, and its my night to bring back coffee... he trailed off. On second thought, you should probably have herbal tea.
Im fine, Gil. Probably just something I ate earlier. She sighed, frustrated with his persistence to not believe hereven though she was lying through her teeth. But, I dont want coffee, anyway.
Alright. Just thought Id check.
She put a hand on his arm. Thanks, though.
He leaned in and kissed her cheek. The contact made her shiver. No problem. Ill see you when I get back.
As he headed towards his office to pick up the assignments for Sara and Catherine, he saw Catherine coming out of his private space. She was looking much better, he had to admit, but he was still very curious to hear why she was in his office. Catherine. She looked up into his eyes. What are you doing?
She replied. The carnival case. Im taking it.
Gil was confused. The carnival case?
Catherine explained. A six year old girl died on a ride at the carnival over on Washington. The paperworks on your desk.
He fought the urge to grin as he teased her. Did you straighten up my office while you were in there?
She countered. You think I overstepped?
As she spoke, he remembered that there was a jewelry box on one of his shelves behind his desk; in the box, there was a present for Catherine. He stopped himself from asking if she saw it; his eyes closed and he shook his head in reply.
These people come to town, they commit crimes, and they leave. I just want to get there before the carnival moves on.
He knew it had everything to do with the fact that she was a mother herself, and crimes to children affected her more than anything else. Okay, he spoke tenderly. Take Sara with you. He also knew that another CSI with her would prevent Catherine from lashing out emotionally.
She responded: Shes meeting me there.
Gil watched her walk away, his eyes lingering on her swaying hips, before he shook his head and headed into the office to make sure the present hadnt been discovered.
Inside the boxwhich hadnt been movedthere was a necklace. The chain was a little longer than the ones she usually wore, but he had picked the platinum gold chain that way so no one would see the pendant he had attached to it. The pendant was heart-shaped platinum gold also, and on the front there were tiny aquamarine stones and sapphire stones pressed into the design, while on the back he had engraved their initials. He had never been able to figure out what the right words would be. They had never voiced their affections, and he was even beginning to wonder if she still had those romantic feelings for him, but he wanted to get her something to show his appreciation for her, if nothing else. The different shades of blue reminded him of her eyes and his, both two different shades of blue.
He held it up to the light, admiring it, before he put it in the box. He hoped she would like it; he also hoped hed find the right time to give it to her.
Doctor Robbins, Catherine, and Sara looked over the little girl. Catherine was uncomfortable; not only was there a dead six year old girl in front of her, but her stomach was still unsettled, and she was positive she knew what it was from. She had been biting her nails to keep herself from thinking about the new development in her life, but stopped because Sara kept looking at her nervously. Now, she gripped her hands tightly in front of her, trying to focus solely on what was going on in that room.
He spoke first: No doubt about it, the cause of death is drowning.
Catherine was next: How tall was the victim?
Three feet, Doctor Robbins replied. Give or take an inch.
She thought out loud. The water was a foot and a half deep. She couldve easily climbed out unless she was unconscious.
Sara jumped into the conversation at this point. Maybe she had a minor concussion, or was stunned, that could explain why she couldnt get out.
I checked. The coroner responded. Believe me, she didnt. The only injury I could find on this little girl was a fractured forearm.
Catherine asked: Spiral or straight?
X-rays just came back, he answered. Lets see. They walked over to the light table, where he picked to films up and examined them. Catherine could see it, clear as day. Spiral. Thats not from a fall.
Catherine briefly thought she was going to be sick again, this time having nothing to do with hormones, but instead the thought of Lindsay being hurt this way. Somebody twisted that little girls arm hard enough to break it.
Sara asked: Perimortem?
She could feel the bile rising in her throat, but managed to control it to finish the rest of the autopsy. When she exited the room, she thought she had the urge completely supressed. She started talking to Sandys mother, and the urge hadnt gone away; her stomach was churning, and she knew she had to get out of there. The minute she was done asking the mother questions, she excused herself, and ran for the closest available bathroom.
How much longer do you think its going to take? Catherine glanced at her watch.
Sara shrugged. They shouldve been here a few hours ago.
She was referring to the forensics officers they called in to assist them. They were late. Catherine groaned. I have to go pick up Lindsay. Can you hold the fort for a little while until I get back?
Sara nodded. Sure, no problem. Take as much time as you need.
Catherine smiled back, grateful to be getting along with the younger woman. I wont be long, I promise.
The minute she got into her Tahoe, she picked up the business card she had forgotten about, because she had tucked it far away into her purse. She dialed the number and waited.
Paul, hi, she started talking immediately, although not sure of what shed say. Its Catherine.
She could feel him smiling through his voice. I know who you are, Stranger. She laughed despite herself. What can I do for you?
I need a favour.
She groaned. No, Paul. Were working this case at the carnival, and our forensics manpower is late, and I have to pick Lindsay up... but I cant keep her here. I was wondering...
He cut her off before she could jump back in with more words. Sure, he responded. Bring her by, the neighbours kids just got back from school, Ill keep an eye on her, and well order pizza or something.
Really, no problem at all.
Thanks so much.
She turned her car on, and started driving towards her sisters house. Paul laughed. You know you owe me, though?
Coffee and a kiss, she rolled her eyes even though he couldnt see the gesture. I know, I know. Consider it paid in full.
Catherine looked down at the little stick and sighed. It confirmed what she already knew. She slumped down on the closed toilet and rubbed her free hand over her face. She had no idea how she was going to break the news, or how Gil would react, but there was no mistakethe signs suggested it, and the little plastic stick confirmed it: she was pregnant, with Gils child.
She knew it was foolish to have sex with him, when her birth control prescription hadnt been refilled. She had completely forgotten to run to the drugstore. Gil hadnt been upset; he thought she was going there for chocolate, and he didnt mind not having it when he had her there.
Did he love her? She didnt know. She didnt also know if he even wanted a child of his own.
Her phone rang. She glanced at it, and hoped for a second it wasnt Gil. Hello?
It wasnt. She was relieved, since she hadnt had time to figure out what shed say to him. Hey, Stranger.
Paul, she tensed up, afraid. Is Lindsay alright?
Shes in bed, his words calmed her. But, shes been wondering when youre coming by to pick her up. She misses you.
Catherine smiled, relief washing over her. Tell her I miss her, too, and that Im on my way.
She hung up the phone without saying good-bye. She tossed the stick into the garbage, and rushed out of the house.
The drive was short. She was still tense, though. Paul would be expecting her, he would be as sexy as she knew he could be, and she still owed him coffee and a kiss. She groaned as his house came into view, but she knew what she had to do.
Her first knock on the blue door was hesitant; when she saw the blue, it reminded her of Gil and his beautiful eyes, and she knocked more insistently, eager to get Lindsay home so she could call Gil and tell him she missed him. After that, she didnt know what shed tell him.
Paul opened the door. She let out the breath she didnt know she was holding. You got my call, he smiled.
She glanced at his chest and felt a pull of desire she had been expecting. She let her eyes dart to the door, and the calming blue gave her strength. She knew she was doing the right thing.
I couldnt have come at a better time, she spoke the truth. It was the best time, the best time to get Lindsay and go home to what mattered to her.
He took two steps back. She walked in and turned to face him. He let his eyes fall on her lips; she knew he was collecting what she had promised. She leaned up into him as he dipped his head down. The kiss was full of electricity, but thats all she could feel behind it.
When she pulled back, she knew. He did, too. Theres someone else, isnt there?
She blushed, but hoped he didnt notice because he was shutting the door. That obvious?
He nodded. You werent exactly into it.
Im sorry, she frowned. Things are just complicated right now.
The another time, another place speech?
She managed to turn the grimace into a weak smile. Something like that.
Paul chuckled as Lindsay ran down the hall, book bag and blanket in tow. Catherine bent down and scooped her daughter up. Hey, Baby. She pressed her lips to the blondes head. How are you?
Good, she smiled. Paul let me order the pizza, and we watched Monsters, Inc.!
So you had a good time?
She kissed her daughter again. Good, Im glad. I missed you so much, though.
Catherine looked over Lindsays head at Paul. Thank you for taking her for the night.
It was no problem, Catherine. You have a great daughter, he bent a little so he was at Lindsays level. And, you, young lady, have a great mother. He turned back to Catherine. Youre very lucky.
I know, she smiled. Thanks, again.
Paul shrugged it off. If things ever uncomplicate, you know where to find me.
Catherine nodded. I do. Goodnight, Paul.
Paul opened the door for her, and she and Lindsay walked out of his house. When they were nearing the Tahoe, Lindsay asked her mother a question. Can we call Gil over?
Baby, its really late.
But, its not a school night... and I like it when hes over. She slipped out of her mothers arms when the back door was opened so she could climb into the seat.
Catherine buckled her up, and then got into the drivers seat. You do, do you?
Uh huh. If he can come, maybe he could bring a bug or two over.
Well, well see, Catherine smiled. Ill let you call and ask him to come over.
Gil jumped off his sofa when the phone rang. Grissom.
Lindsay? Panic gripped his heart. Maybe something was wrong; Catherine never had Lindsay call him before, and it was very late. Is everything alright?
Oh yeah, she replied. Everythings fine. Mommy and I just got home.
Gil put his glasses on and looked at the clock on the wall. It was very late. He had no idea why Lindsay was still awake. So, what are you calling for, Kiddo?
Did you want to come over?
He found himself smiling. You want a visitor?
She answered cheerfully, after smothering a yawn. Uh huh. Mommy said you could bring one of your spiders over for me to play wi
He heard some scuffling, and then Catherines voice was on the line. Dont you dare bring any of those over, Gil Grissom.
He chuckled. I know better, dont worry.
Are you sure you want me to come over? He asked. Its really late.
Catherine reassured him. I just got home from work. Im exhausted. I havent seen you much lately, and I want to hang out with you. Lindsay, apparently, wants to see you, too. She laughed. But, no bugs.
Alright, he was already standing, grabbing his coat and keys. Im on my way.
He stepped outside and locked his door. Want to put Lindsay back on?
He was in his Tahoe, and the ignition was started. Listen, Lindsay, I need you to answer a question for me, and you need to be very careful when you answer so Mommy doesnt have any clue what were talking about. Okay?
What kind of ice cream should I bring with me?
Lindsay thought carefully for a minute before answering. Sometimes she just likes the plain stuff. With
Nope, the other one.
Yeah, she answered. Thats the one.
Okay, he saw a grocery store coming up. Ill be there in ten minutes.
She said good-bye and he hung up the phone. He went into the grocery store and got the items he needed. He rushed to Catherines and when she opened the door, she looked at the grocery bags with a confused look in her eye.
He smiled, before stepping into her personal space to kiss her cheek. I brought a treat. Sara told me how hard the job was on you. She smiled up at him, eyes glistening; he knew he had done the right thing by surprising her with a snack. They stepped into the house and she closed the door.
Lindsay stepped into the foyer. Hey, Gil!
Well, hello, Kiddo, he set the bag on the floor to pick her up. Arent you getting sleepy?
She shook her head. Nope! Did you bring the surprise?
Catherine looked over at her daughter. You were in on this too, Baby?
Someone had to tell me what youd want to eat, Gil smirked, winking at Lindsay, before setting her down to take the bag into the kitchen. Catherine sat on a chair at her table, her daughter at her side, while Gil pulled bowls and spoons out of the appropriate drawers and cupboards.
He watched her out of the corner of his eye; her lower lip trembled as he poured the butterscotch sauce over the heaping mounds of vanilla ice cream. He laughed. She grumbled. Im hungry, Gil, dont tease me.
With a smile and a spring in his step, he brought the three bowls and three spoons over to the females. Ill get to that later.
She blushed. Lindsay didnt notice the comment, and went straight for the ice cream. He watched the little girl dig in; after three bites, she started yawning and rubbing her eyes.
Catherine kissed her forehead. Well, how about I tuck you into bed?
Before Catherine picked her up, Lindsay went to Gil, arms outstretched. Goodnight, Gil. She murmured in his ear after he hugged her.
Goodnight, Lindsay, he replied. Sweet dreams.
He waited patiently for Catherine to return, his thoughts turning to the necklace he left in his townhouse. He knew it wasnt the right time to drop his feelings on her lap; she was dealing with enough already. He knew hed have to wait for the right moment.
She came back, wearing her bathrobe and nothing else as far as he could tell. Living room?
He nodded and picked up their ice cream bowls, following her out to the sofa. Here, he handed hers back to her.
Thanks, she spoke next. Youre always there when I need you.
I believe thats one of the parts of friendship, Cath. He said softly, after a bite of ice cream. She sighed and was about to say something, but he stopped her. But, were more than that, so its non-negociable.
Catherines eyes welled up, but she blinked the tears back. I know.
The mood was too heavy, and by looking into her eyes, she knew there was something she wanted to say. He was afraid to hear what it was, so he tried to lighten the mood. He took his spoon, full of runny, sticky, ice cream and drizzled it over her outstretched leg.
Gil, her eyelashes fluttered. Thats cold. And sticky. And, she added, Its on my leg.
He grinned. Let me clean that up.
He set their bowls on the floor, and then leaned towards her. His mouth touched her leg; his tongue snaked out and lapped the mess up. She moaned softly, one hand reaching into his wavy hair. He adjusted his position and continued up her leg until he reached the elastic on her underwear.
He looked up and knew what she meant. Ive learned a lot about you, Cath, he whispered, leaning up to kiss her. And, dont worry. There wont be any of that tonight. All I want to do tonight is make sure youre satisfied.
He smiled. You can repay me when youre feeling better.
She got up, and pulled him with her. He tried to keep his hands off of her, but found it impossible to do so. She made sure the door was shut and locked, and he undressed until he was down to his boxers. Do you have one of my t-shirts here, still, Cath?
He watched the expressions change in her eyes. There was surprise, understanding, and something that he thought was love, but he wasnt sure. He hadnt learned what love looked like in her eyes, but he so desperately hoped that was it.
Yeah, she smiled, fishing one out of her closet and tossing it to him. Here.
He put it on, while she took her robe off and put a nightie on. She pulled the covers back and climbed into bed. He joined her, wrapping one arm around her to support her as she rested against him; the other hand started circling her breasts before continuing lower.
She moaned into his ear, as she snuggled her face against his neck. He used his fingers to build up the fire inside her, taking time and the skills he possessed to maximize her benefit. When he felt the energy inside her building to the point of no return, he backed off a little, before bringing her to the edge and pushing her off.
Her hands gripped through his shirt, into his chest. Her eyelashes grazed his neck. Her soft cries filled his ears. When it was over, she wrapped herself around him and kissed his lips. Thank you.
Sleep, he whispered, kissing her again. No need for words.
Youre staying, right?
He nodded, and adjusted his position so she could use his chest as a pillow comfortably. Of course.
Good, she huffed before her breathing evened out. He smiled into the dark room.
He was still smiling as sleep hit him.