Countess Von Fingerbang (madampresident) wrote,
Countess Von Fingerbang

Title: The Best of Us (Part 2)

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.

Disclaimer: I don't own CSI or its characters and I don't make any claim to
own anything here.

Spoilers: Knowing what happened in season 8 regarding Sara is a must.

Part One

The note was short and to the
point, it explained that he signed for a package and that it was at his

Grissom paused in thought trying to remember what he had ordered and then he
remembered that he'd ordered the clothes for Catherine.

And what timing! He was going to meet Catherine for lunch that day, which
was a small miracle considering she'd only called him back the day before.
He dropped his things on his bed and showered really quickly.

He hopped the divide between his porch and his neighbors' with a little help
from the spring in his step and knocked.

His neighbor's wife, Gayle, opened the door and smiled, "Dr. Grissom, please
come in."

Grissom smiled graciously and stepped inside. It was always so surreal
visiting the townhouse next to his because the layout was the same in every
way except for the personal effects and it always felt like he was stepping
into a parallel universe.

His neighbor's had a daughter who was 4 but generally very quiet. He smiled
at her as she poked her head around the kitchen island. She smiled shyly and
ducked her head.

Gayle came out of the back room with the box in hand, "here it is." She
smiled. "I couldn't help but notice the label on the box. I ordered some
maternity clothes from them, you have good taste."

Grissom felt a flush in his cheeks though he hoped it was mostly concealed
by the beard he had grown back. Catherine had assured him that the beard was
very sexy and he had to say that he was glad she liked it, because he'd
liked it and in the back of his mind was never happy that Sara asked him to

"Thanks." He accepted the box. "Thanks for signing for it for me."

"What are neighbors for, right?" She smiled, "you'll have to stop by for
coffee sometime, little Abigail and I would love to have you over, wouldn't
we, baby?"

"Mhm!" Came the little reply from behind the island and Grissom smiled.

Grissom got the box back to his place, opened it and pulled out the receipt,
dug through it all to make sure there was nothing else in the box indicating
price (not that she didn't have the catalog, but still.) and did a quick
wrapping job.

He made sure he was fully stocked with orange juice, normally she liked
vodka in it, he knew, but that must mean she also liked the orange juice.
right? He had eggs and vegetables for omelets and bread and cold cuts for
sandwiches and the numbers for five different places that would deliver if
he couldn't fix what she wanted.

He was ready.

When he was taking a walk the other morning he'd decided to stop into the
little bookstore around the corner and picked up the book What To Expect
When You're Expecting - For Fathers and he was reading that when the
doorbell rang.

He stuck the book under the couch cushions and answered the door, he smiled
at Catherine as she walked in and closed the door behind her, hanging her
coat on the peg.

He wanted to lean over and kiss her but considered the snit she was probably
still in decided to let her be the first to say something.

"Can I come back to work tomorrow?"

"Good morning to you too,"

"I'm bored as all hell and I'll have to take maternity leave soon enough
anyway." She flashed bright blue, pleading eyes at Grissom.

Grissom had to look away before he was so brainwashed by the puppy dog eyes
that he'd agree to anything she asked, "yes, you can come back tomorrow." He

"Thank you!" She smiled hugely, wrapping her arms around his neck and
kissing him.

He smiled, happy to see her happy. Happy to see her period. He leaned his
forehead against hers and rocked her gently. "I've missed you."

"Well that's your own damn fault now isn't it?" She grinned.

"Point taken." He kissed her nose. "Come into the living room. I have
something for you."

"Something for me?" She glanced into the living room and saw the large box.
"You didn't!"

"It's just a little something."

"Can I open it?"

"Of course."

Catherine squealed a little and went to it, feeling like a kid on Christmas.
She picked up the box and turned it around in her hands a couple times,
studying the shape and weight of the box.

"Are you trying to develop x-ray vision to see into the box with? Because I
specifically got the x-ray vision proof box." He teased playfully.

That earned him Catherine's cutest, most playful glare as she carefully
pulled the paper off and opened the box. She stuck her hands in and pulled
out one of the shirts and instantly burst into tears.

A surge of panic spread through Grissom as he saw Catherine crying. "I'm so
sorry!" He scrambled over to her, "I'm so sorry. did I get you the wrong
thing? I can send them back and try again, I'm so sorry. I can buy you other
stuff. Please don't cry!"

"It's so."

"It's so what?"

"It's so. sweet. I can't believe you went through all this trouble for me."
She buried her face in his shoulder.

He relaxed a bit, rubbing her back. "You're worth it Catherine."

"But I gotta tell you, Gil, if this is how you deal with crying our baby's
going to have a pony by the time he's 3, isn't he?" Catherine wiped at her
eyes, laughing a little.

"You. you were crying. I thought you were upset. and you're scary when
you're upset. and hormonal."

"You have not seen me be scary yet." She smirked smugly.

"That's ominous sounding." He teased, leaning in and kissing her.


"Hi Linds," Catherine smiled, "I was thinking we could hang out tonight, you
know, watch a movie or play a game if you wanted."

"Um. I don't think so mom." Lindsey pulled her jacket on.

"You're not going out, are you?"

"Yeah." She rolled her eyes. "Obv."

"You can't go out, it's already 7, where were you planning to go?" She
folded her arms across her chest.

"I'm going out with Kate."

"No, you're not. You have school tomorrow."

"All my homework's done!"

"I don't care."

"This isn't fair!"

"Life's not fair, Lindsey."

"I've showed more responsibility than you have in the last year and I can't
even go out with my friends? What bullshit!"


Lindsey pushed past her, "and I'm not going to come home pregnant."

"That does it." Catherine grabbed Lindsey by the collar of her jacket.

"Hey!" Lindsey protested, squirming against Catherine's grip, but she held
fast. "Let me go!"

She turned them around and pointed Lindsey back towards her bedroom. "The
only place you're going is to your room."

"You can't just be my mom when you want to be. You're only trying to kiss up
to me now because you're feeling guilty about the baby or whatever. And you
should feel guilty about the baby because it's fucking everything up! It's
fucking up all our lives and it's all your fucking fault!" Lindsey screamed,
slamming the door shut.

"You're grounded, Lindsey! The only daylight you're going to see for a while
is what seeps in through your Venetian blinds!"

"I hate you!" She screamed through the door.


Catherine was incredibly glad to be out of the house and back to work but
the argument with Lindsey was really weighing heavily on her. She was
sitting at the break room table with a diet coke and staring off absently
waiting for case briefings when Warrick walked in.

"Hey." He smiled, happy to see her.

She looked up and smiled, "hi."

"You ok?" He furrowed his brow and watched her, there was something about
her demeanor that bothered him.

"I'm fine." She nodded.

He was about to protest, studying her as if he was trying to see directly
into her mind, but that was the moment that Greg bounded in, followed by
Nick and then Grissom a few moments later.

"Catherine, you and Warrick have a murder on fifth." He handed her the case
file and cast her a look of concern, are you sure you're up for this?

She was on the verge of rolling her eyes but had to give him a little credit
for being concerned for her wellbeing and gave him a subtle nod. He let go
of the file with a tiny bit of reluctance but she smiled a little, hoping to
quell his worries.

Catherine and Warrick made it as far as the Tahoe before they spoke. Warrick
broke the silence, "give me a little credit, Cath."

"Hmm?" She looked up at him, puzzled.

"You're not fine. Don't want to talk about it? Ok. But just. you're not

"No, I'm not fine." She stared at him. "And thank you for acknowledging that
I don't want to talk about it." She climbed into the driver's seat. "Mind if
I drive?"

The question was rhetorical.

He shook his head, "not at all." He climbed into the passenger seat and
glanced at her as she backed out of the space. He'd annoyed her. He hadn't
meant to and he felt bad.

They processed the scene in silence and he was sure that he'd really gotten
on her nerves. Catherine was lost in her thoughts though, it had aggravated
her that he just called her out like that because if she was going to tell
him it was going to be because she decided to not because he called her
bluff. But she did want to tell him.

She wanted to tell someone who was outside of the situation and could tell
her that she wasn't a horrible mother, that she wasn't ruining her life by
having the baby, that it was unfair of Grissom to try to make her stop
working before she had to.

What she really wanted was for somebody to be on her side.

Sure, Grissom was technically on her side but he also had his own interests
in mind. It was his baby and he was going to be protective of that, even to
the point of possessiveness. Keeping Catherine out of harm's way meant
keeping the baby out of harm's way. She felt that Warrick would think more
about Catherine's happiness and well-being than the baby's because he didn't
have an emotional stake in the baby.

Catherine packed up the evidence bags and checked the camera to make sure
that the memory card was there (ever since her memory card had been stolen
she always checked). She watched Dave climb into the van with the body and

"Cath, I'm sorry about earlier. I shouldn't have been so blunt."

"I'm pregnant."

Warrick just stared at her. "How far along?" He asked finally.

"Almost four months. I'll start showing pretty soon."

"Four months? .why didn't you tell me?"

She shrugged, "I don't know. I haven't told many people. Just Lindsey, my
mom and. the father." She wasn't ready to admit to Warrick that it was
Grissom and she was hoping he wouldn't ask. "I kind of keep hoping it turns
out to be a fluke and that I'm not really pregnant." She admitted.

He nodded sympathetically. Hurt from the fact that she didn't tell him
colored his brow but he did understand why she might not. He'd just hoped
that she considered him a better friend than that. Although to be the fourth
person who heard the news? In retrospect that wasn't bad.

"And I keep fighting with Lindsey." She shook her head, turning to look
towards the strip, she couldn't see it but she could hear it about two
blocks away. A warm breeze blew in from the desert and made her hair wave in
the wind. "She's 14 and angry and hormonal. And she thinks I'm being
irresponsible. These last couple months she's really been giving me the run
around and it's really getting to me."

"Puberty's rough. And she's a freshman in high school, that's tough
territory. Boys and grades and more competition at home for your time."

He understood everything so perfectly and it comforted her so much. She
scarcely had words for how much she appreciated his understanding. She
leaned up and wrapped her arms around him, giving him a warm, appreciative


"I think it's probably about time we tell everybody." Catherine said walking
into Grissom's office.

He looked up from his paper work and smiled a little, "oh?"

"I told Warrick. He could tell something was up with me. And if Warrick
knows it's only a matter of time before everyone catches on."

"I don't think Warrick would say anything." He furrowed his brow.

"No, I don't either. But when three people in an workplace share a secret it
gets really tricky. You and I share the secret because it's our
secret. But now that Warrick knows it would be unfair to not tell everyone
else. I think we'd catch a lot of grief if they knew that Warrick knew first
and they'd think that we didn't trust them or something. you know? Does this
make sense?"

Grissom nodded slowly, pulling his glasses off and setting them on the desk
on top of the half finished paperwork. "Are we going to tell them I'm the

She nodded, "yeah." She wasn't sure that this was going to be the best
conversation of her life but it was one that had to happen. "Do you mind if
I sort of do most of the talking?"

He shook his head, "I'll be there if you need me."

She smiled at him and briefly wondered why the men in her life were such a
comfort and the women, though she loved them dearly, brought her nothing but

Catherine moved towards him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and sat on
his lap and kissed him. "Thank you for being so wonderful." She whispered.

He wrapped his arms around her, "you deserve it. Every bit of it."

She cupped his cheeks and kissed him again, harder this time. She was
revelling in the feeling of his warm hands on her waist. She took his hand
and moved it over to her stomach. He smiled and stroked her stomach

"Hey Griss?" Warrick opened the door. His eyes settled on Catherine and she
could see the hurt register in his eyes. "I see you're busy, I'll come back

Catherine jumped up, "Warrick wait!" She caught up to him in the hall and he
leaned up against the wall, let his head fall back against it and sighed.

"You didn't tell me it was Grissom."

"The decision to tell about the pregnancy was mine but I didn't want to tell
you that he was the father without knowing if he was cool with that." It was
a lie. He'd wanted to be completely upfront from the beginning, but that
wasn't important right now. What was important was Warrick not feeling that
she didn't tell him because she didn't trust him or care for him enough. She
wanted to tell him that it was merely a defense mechanism, that she wanted
to protect herself. Hell, she barely even wanted to tell Grissom. She wanted
to tell him she just wanted to live her life uninterrupted for another five
months because at the end of this her life was going to change dramatically
and she wasn't quite ready for that.

But the only thing that escaped her lips was her little white lie.

He sighed and rubbed his forehead. He was clearly contemplating what she'd
said, and he weighed it up against what he knew about both Catherine and
Grissom and assessed that he'd just take her word for it. He nodded.

She knew she wasn't completely forgiven, but she could live with that for


Telling the rest of the team hadn't been any more fun. Nick looked at them
as though they'd just punched him in the face and told him his accent was
stupid. Wendy just looked contemplative and Greg looked more hurt than

"We. I. I wanted to keep it a secret for a bit longer because I didn't want
to be treated any differently. You guys are very important to me, you're
like my second family and I'm sorry that we didn't tell you earlier but I
feel like for my own sanity it had to have been handled this way." She
looked at the faces. "I hope you can all understand where I'm coming from
and forgive me."

Greg hugged her. It was a little bit of a surprise, he got up like he
intended to walk out on the conversation but at the last minute decided to
hug her. He wrapped his arms around her and after a moment to get over the
shock she hugged him back, her body flooding with relief and comfort.

Wendy laid her hand on Catherine's and smile when Catherine looked over.

When Nick hugged her after Greg let go she became aware that she had tears
in her eyes. She wiped embarassedly at her eyes.

"If I start ranting and raving, you'll just overlook it?" She smiled.

"We always do." Greg grinned goofily at his own joke and looked around to
see who else thought it was funny.

Grissom smiled and rubbed her back a bit.

She wished she didn't have to go home to her hostile house, but she wanted
to try to get home before Lindsey went off to school.


♥ Coco
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