Countess Von Fingerbang (madampresident) wrote,
Countess Von Fingerbang
madampresident

New Fic: The Best of Us

Title: The Best of Us
Author: Coco
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Catherine finds herself in a delicate situation and she has to cope
with it while trying to balance a rapidly declining relationship with her
daughter, a love-hate relationship with her mother and the budding romance
between she and Grissom.
Spoilers: Knowing what happened in season 8 regarding Sara is a must.



Catherine was sitting alone at the café around the corner from the lab. She
was sipping a cup of tea and waiting for Grissom. Her leg was bouncing with
nerves and she was looking up every few moments for any sign of his
bow-legged walk and boyish good looks.

“I’m sorry I’m late.” He apologized, kissing her cheek and sitting down.

“I’m late, too.”

“Oh good, I didn’t keep you waiting too long then. Is the tea any good
here?”

“What?” She looked down at the tea, “oh… yeah, it’s good. It’s orange
cranberry or something.”

“I think we rushed things a little… I know we’ve known each other for
somewhere around 20 years and we’ve been friends for just as long, but I
think we should take it a little slower for a while.”

“Huh?” She couldn’t really say she was paying very close attention at this
point.

“Well, the way we just fell into bed together. We’ve done it so many times
in the past that if we’re going to do this we should do it right. Let’s just
take it slow and really, genuinely date for a while.”

“Yeah… we can just take it slow…”

“I’m so glad you feel that way too.” He smiled.

“But it brings me back to my first point. I am late.”

He looked at his watch, “late for what?”

“I’m still hoping it’s menopause but three EPTs and two different doctors
seem pretty insistent that it’s a baby.”

“Marry me.”

“Gil, you just said we should take it slow!”

“That was before you told me you were pre-” he lowered his voice, having not
realized that his voice had risen so much, “pregnant.”

“I think that if you felt we should wait before that it shouldn’t have
changed.”

“Shouldn’t have… changed…? Catherine, you’re having a baby, I want to be
there to be supportive of you.”

“And you can be supportive of me without being married to me, can’t you?”

“We should tell the rest of the team…”

“No, not yet.”

“But after the Sara fiasco we should tell them.”

Because of the Sara fiasco we shouldn’t. We should wait until
we’re sure before we tell them about us.”

“But there’s a baby involved, your baby and my baby, they’ll find out
about that one way or the other, so shouldn’t we just tell them from the get
go?”

“We should tell them when I start showing. I don’t want to be treated like
I’m fragile.”

“But Cath, you’re a high risk pregnancy, you are a little fragile.”

“I know my limitations, this isn’t my first pregnancy, you know.”

“Does Lindsey know?”

Catherine nodded, “I told her first. And then my mother.”

“You’re very methodical about this, Cath…”

“Gil, if I think about this in anything but a collected and methodical
manner I’m liable to scream.”

“Are you mad at me?” He asked sheepishly.

“I’m two months pregnant, I just managed to stop throwing up an hour ago and
I haven’t had a cup of coffee in longer than I can remember. What do you
think?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. God… don’t apologize. My mother already thinks this is
baby is a mistake, I don’t need you making me feel that way, too.”

Grissom reached out and took her hand, he had expected her to pull away but
she turned her hand over and took his with a gentle squeeze. He looked down
at their hands; her thumb lightly stroked his hand. When he looked back up
at her she had tears in her eyes.

“Oh Catherine…” He pulled her into his arms and she buried her face against
his chest. “This baby is not a mistake. It may not have been conceived in
the most ideal circumstances but you know? I’m going to love our baby so
much.”

She wrapped her arms tightly around him and let him hold her close. He
kissed her temple and rubbed her back.

***

Catherine was fast asleep on the couch in her office. She hadn’t slept much
that day between morning sickness and anxiety. She’d only meant to shut her
eyes for a moment but ended up asleep before she knew it.

Greg knocked lightly on the door, “Catherine?” He poked his head in.
“Catherine?”

She stirred but didn’t wake up.

He put a hand on her shoulder and shook her gently. “Catherine, I need your
help on something.”

She sat bolt upright, gasping loudly.

Greg jumped back, startled. “I’m sorry!” He cried, “I. . . I didn’t mean to
startle you, I . . .”

She put a hand over her heart and her other hand absently moving to her
stomach, “what do you want Greg?”

“Need your expertise on this case.” He held out a folder to her and she
opened it, studying the photos. “We think Brett Renaldo is connected with
this and we need the splatter analyzed by the best.”

“You shameless flatterer.” She teased familiarly. Catherine flipped through
the pictures, stroking her stomach as she did. She stood and headed for the
hallway, leaving Greg in her office.

Greg was about to leave when something brightly colored on Catherine’s desk
caught his eye. He leaned closer and saw that it was just a clothes
catalogue. He decided it was boring and followed after Catherine, pausing
once outside the door to figure out which way she went.

He stuck his head in the layout room and a few of the other rooms on the way
by. He stuck his head into the room at the end of the hall and found Wendy.
“Seen Catherine?”

“Uh yeah, I think she popped into Grissom’s office.”

Greg nodded a thank you and turned the hall but stopped when he heard
Catherine’s voice. From the sound of it she was none too happy and he didn’t
want to get in the middle of that so he held back, listening, but unable to
hear any words distinctly. He started to inch forward slowly to hear more
and was able to catch the word “fragile,” Catherine’s voice hitting a higher
note and then Grissom’s immediate reaction.

“Whatcha doing?” Nick came up behind Greg and he jumped. “You’re jumpier
than a frog!”

“Shut up, Catherine and Grissom are fighting.”

“’Bout what?” Nick furrowed his brow in scrutiny.

“I don’t know. I can’t hear anything because you keep talking!” Greg
chastised him with a scowl.

The two bickering men in the hallway didn’t have a chance to hear anything
more because Catherine emerged from the office with a dramatic sigh and shut
the door behind her. She saw Greg and Nick and straightened. “Greg, brief me
on the details.”

Greg took a moment to snap out of his surprise and jumped to follow her,
“yup!”

***

“Mom?” Lindsey pushed the slightly ajar bathroom door the rest of the way
open. “Mom are you alright?”

Catherine groaned as she sat up, pushing herself away from the toilet bowl.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She nodded.

“Aren’t you supposed to be sleeping?”

She sighed, “Gil made me take the rest of the week off… I think he’s going
to chain me to a desk pretty soon.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing.”

“That’s a boring thing.”

Mom.” She said pointedly, glaring a hole into Catherine. “You have
to start taking better care of yourself. Go get some sleep!”

Catherine closed the lid of the toilet and flushed it even though she hadn’t
thrown up. “When did you become the mom in this relationship?” She teetered
slightly, a wave of nausea running through her, but it passed.

“When you started acting like some pig-headed stupid teenager!”

“Lindsey!”

“What?” She crossed her arms over her chest with exasperation.

“I am your mother, you show me a little respect!”

“Sorry, mom…” She said. Catherine knew in her heart that she it wasn’t a
heartfelt apology but it was all she was going to get out of her right now
and she did seem to only have Catherine’s best interests in mind.

“Go… get ready for school.” Catherine said, defeated.

Lindsey padded down the hall and the door to her bedroom closed. Lily’s
bedroom door opened and she stuck her head out. Lily had recently moved in
with Catherine and Lindsey so that she could be there when Catherine needed
her to help out and now it turned out that it was the right move. She was
really going to need her pretty soon.

“Go back to sleep, mom.” Catherine tried to shoo her own mother back into
her room but Lily wasn’t having any of that.

“Oh Catherine, really.” She emerged from her room, wrapping her bathrobe
around her waist and closing the door behind her. “I don’t know what you’re
thinking… having another child when you can’t even control the one you’ve
got.”

“Well thank god I only have one mother.”

Lily shot her a look and walked into the kitchen. Catherine opened the
refrigerator and pulled out a few eggs.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m going to make breakfast for my daughter.”

“Don’t bother. She never eats breakfast, just put on a pot of coffee.” Lily
told her, taking a seat at the table.

Catherine was usually asleep by the time Lindsey got up and off to school,
via carpool. Lindsey was enrolled in a private school ever since she’d
started acting out three years ago and the school seemed to be working out
for her pretty well.

“Since when does she drink coffee?” Catherine demanded, but then she
realized that about six months earlier the coffee was being used up faster
and she’d thought that her aging mother just needed that extra kick but now
put two and two together. “Never mind.” She shook her head, “just…
whatever.”

The coffee was all brewed by the time Lindsey came down in her school
uniform.

“How do you take your coffee?” Catherine asked, picking up a coffee mug.

Lindsey eyed her with uncertainty and then looked to Lily. Wordlessly she
grabbed a travel mug, dropped about 10 teaspoons of sugar into it before
filling the rest of the space with coffee.

She put the lid on it, sipped it, grabbed her bag and headed for the door.

“Hey, aren’t you going to give your mother a kiss before you go?”

“Why should I?” Lindsey spat.

“I love you too.” Catherine called after her and she heard a mumbled
“whatever” as Lindsey slammed the front door behind her. Catherine rubbed
her eyes tiredly.

Lily poured herself a cup of coffee and watched Catherine. Catherine grabbed
one of the little teacups and filled it with coffee.

“Coffee’s bad for the baby.” Lily certainly wasn’t going to let the
opportunity to chastise her only daughter slip by without taking full
advantage.

“I’m not going to drink it.” Catherine rolled her eyes, “I just want to
smell it…”

Catherine’s cell phone rang and she pulled it from its holster on her hip
and saw that it was Grissom. She opened it and closed it again. Not in
the mood for you, pal.


***

“Where’s Catherine?” Warrick asked, stepping his head into Grissom’s office.
“I looked everywhere and tried her cell phone but it keeps going right to
voice mail.”

“She’s… she’s taking a few days off.”

“She didn’t mention anything…”

“Maybe it’s personal.” Grissom shrugged, but avoided looking at Warrick. The
man was a gifted scientist, an expert in his field, but he was also the
world’s worst liar. He was sure that if he looked up at Warrick his
expression would scream “I GOT CATHERINE IN TROUBLE! SHE’S AT HOME PICKING
OUT NURSERY ROOM WALLPAPER!”

Warrick wasn’t satisfied with that answer but decided Grissom either didn’t
know anything or wasn’t going to tell him anyway. “Thanks.” He nodded and
left.

Grissom amused himself with the idea that Catherine was at home picking out
nursery room decorations or digging out some of Lindsey’s old things and
generally settling into the idea of being a mommy all over again.

But he knew that was only his fantasy and in reality she was probably in a
dead sleep, hating him with everything she had.

He got up from his desk and walked to Catherine’s office, he wanted to feel
closer to her and sitting in her space was the closest he was going to get.
He sat down at her desk and noticed the same thing that had caught Greg’s
attention but Grissom paid a little more attention to it and saw that
Catherine was looking through a catalog of maternity clothes. She had
circled a few things and he decided to order them for her, figuring maybe he
could earn a few brownie points for being thoughtful.

***

The conversation with Lindsey the night before had gone like this:

“I’m going to set my alarm for 6 tomorrow and we can talk before you leave
for school, ok?” Catherine smiled at her 14-year-old daughter who watched
her with an unamused expression.

Lindsey finally shrugged, “sure whatever.”

But Lindsey had set her own alarm for 5:50 and in the ten minutes before
Catherine’s alarm clock had gone off she snuck into her room and turned the
alarm from am to pm. This way she got out of having to talk to Catherine but
she’d also make Catherine feel like shit by making her think she’d missed
her chance to talk to Lindsey because she was dumb enough to mix up 6am with
6pm.

Lindsey made herself a pot of coffee, eventually drawing Lily out of her
room at around 6:50.

“Off to school, jelly bean?” Lily yawned, pouring her own coffee.

“Yup.” Lindsey pulled on her backpack and peered out the window, no sign of
the car yet. “I’m going to wait outside for the car. Kate hates when I’m
late.”

Kate was a freshman like Lindsey but had been held back once because of her
birthday and once for flunking fifth grade math and was now the oldest
Freshman currently enrolled in Helen Reddy. Kate picked Lindsey up and two
other girls on the way to school and they’d all been warned for being late
so Kate had been on the warpath about having to wait too long at each house.

Lindsey’s timing turned out to be right on though because as she descended
the last few steps Kate pulled to a screechy stop in front of the driveway.
Lindsey smiled and took her usual seat in the passenger side.

Catherine was awoken with a start to the screechy tires as Kate pulled back
onto the road, letting out a little bit of smoke as it fled. Catherine had
had her doubts about the safety of the car but it had passed numerous
inspections and in the end she had to relent.

Catherine jumped out of bed and watched the car speed down the road. She
dashed down the hallway to the kitchen. “Did Lindsey just leave?” She
demanded.

“Good morning to you too, sunshine.” Lily rolled her eyes.

“Mom! Please! Spare me!”

“Yes, Catherine, she has school, like she does every other Thursday and will
for another three years.”

“God, you’re useless.” She snapped.

“You can’t talk to me like that!”

“Jesus Christ, mom! You’re supposed to be here to help me out but instead
you’re just sitting there throwing sarcasm at me while my relationship with
my daughter is crumbling around me!”

“Open your eyes, Catherine! Your relationship with Lindsey has been going to
hell in a hand basket since your divorce! If you’d made more of an effort
with Eddie-”

“If I’d made more of an effort with Eddie what mom? I wouldn’t have gotten
cheated on? I would have sat back and been a good and silent wife?”

“I didn’t say that Catherine…” Lily sighed, trying to reel back in but she
knew that she’d just poked a very sharp stick into a very deep wound.

“Why don’t you just say it?” Tears were streaming down her cheeks before she
even felt her eyes water. “You think the divorce was my fault, too. Eddie
blamed me, Lindsey blames me, just say it. You blame me too.”

“The women in our family have a hard time holding onto men, Catherine…”

“Maybe we’d have had better luck if we hadn’t met our men while mostly naked
dancing for money.”

Lily rolled her eyes a little but a smile tugged at the corner of her lips,
“doesn’t exactly attract the family kind of men, does it?”

Catherine looked away, hoping to hide the fact that she was starting to
smile a little from her mother.

“Huh?” Lily nudged her. “Come here, Catherine.” She pulled Catherine to her
and gave her a tight hug and let Catherine cry.

“Oh mom…” She sniffled.

“You’re not getting tears on my bathrobe are you? I just washed it.” Lily
teased and Catherine laughed a little, but it just sounded kind of pitiful.

“I just don’t know what to do about Lindsey…”

To be continued……



Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments