Something Worth Fighting For

by Erin Salvatore

Disclaimer: I don't own Beauty and the Beast. I'm just borrowing. Only the story belongs to me.

Note: The idea for this gem has been stewing around in my head for many weeks, with varying angles in which I could take it. The following is the current version of the idea. Here's hoping it sounds as good written out as it did in my head.

CHAPTER 1

NYPD 125TH PRECINCT HOUSEā€¦

Catherine Chandler sighed as she sorted through some case files on her desk. It was an unusually slow day in the Special Crimes Unit, which didn't sit too well with her. She was the kind of person who didn't like sitting still. No, she wanted to get involved in a case, anything to occupy her mind. Little did she realize, however, she was going to get her wish.

Just as soon as she placed one of the files next to her computer, Catherine looked up to see someone walking in, a very familiar someone. Someone she hadn't seen or heard from in quite a while. The last time she saw him had been at her mother's funeral nine years earlier. After that, he all but vanished from her life. What could have happened to bring Vincent Keller here?

Only one way to find out, she thought. Go over and ask him.

Catherine got up from her desk, meeting Vincent's gaze as she got closer. "Vincent, what's going on? What are you doing here?"

"I'm here to report a murder."

Catherine nodded, although not expecting an answer quite like that from him. Well, you said you wanted to get involved in a case. "Okay, well, let's go to the interrogation room and we'll talk about it."

Vincent followed her to an open interrogation room, glancing at her as they walked. She seemed to have gotten more beautiful since he left and it made him feel guilty. I wonder if she hates me for what I've done? I didn't mean to leave, I needed time to think because I had kissed her and didn't want her to think I was using her mother's funeral to take advantage of her.

When they entered the room, Vincent cleared his throat. "Catherine, there's something I need to talk to you about."

"I thought you wanted to report a murder?"

"I do, but this is important."

What could be more important than murder? "Okay, I'm listening."

"I want to apologize for what happened between us at your mother's funeral," said Vincent. "I didn't know what I was thinking. It might have been the emotions we were experiencing, the fact we had a little too much to drink, or whatever. I shouldn't have kissed you, especially not when you were so vulnerable. The last thing I wanted was to take advantage of you."

Catherine bit her lip as she listened to him. Shit, no wonder she hadn't seen him in almost a decade. He probably didn't want to make things worse by sticking around. Still, he could have called me to let me know he was okay. "It's okay, Vincent, you don't have to apologize. I'm not mad at you. Granted, I was worried, but I'm not mad. You did nothing wrong."

For the next minute or two, there was an uneasy silence as Vincent and Catherine looked at each other. The tension in the room was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. Finally, it was Vincent who spoke.

"How about we change the subject?"

"Right," said Catherine. "You said you wanted to report a murder." She took a seat at the table, Vincent following suit a second later. "Now, tell me what happened."

"You remember Alex Salter, right? The girl who hung out with us when we were kids?"

"Yes. I haven't thought about her in months."

"She...She was murdered last night." He stood up and revealed his blood-stained shirt. "I tried to resuscitate her, which is why I'm covered in her blood."

"Do you have any idea who could have done this to her?"

Vincent nodded. "Yes. Gabe Lowen."

"Gabe Lowen? The ADA?" said Catherine. "I don't get it. Why would he want Alex dead? In fact, how did they know each other?"

"Believe it or not, they were dating," said Vincent. "And, because Gabe is a high profile figure, their relationship was all over the paper. Alex didn't like it, though. She told me that she felt intimidated whenever the press was around." He sighed. "Anyway, the day she died, I got a call from her. She told me she broke things off with Gabe."

"How did he take it?" Catherine knew she was probably pushing it, but she had to know what would drive her boss to murder one of her oldest friends.

"He was furious," said Vincent. "He even accused her of being in love with me, which couldn't be further from the truth. We dated a few times, yes, but nothing materialized from it. Alex said she tried to explain herself to him, but he wouldn't listen."

Catherine saw that Vincent was getting agitated the more he spoke. She reached over and grabbed his hand, squeezing it. "Vincent, I don't like this any more than you do. You have my word that Gabe won't get away with what he's done. I'll take him down."

"How?" said Vincent. "He'll deny any involvement."

"Maybe, but I'm not going to rest until justice has been served," said Catherine. "Alex was our friend and she didn't deserve to die the way she did."

Vincent smiled slightly. He admired Catherine's determination, especially in situations like this one, and he knew he had made the right decision by coming to her. Catherine had stood by him when his brothers died in the Towers, and he had done the same for her at her mother's funeral.

"It's going to be dangerous, you know."

"You think I give a shit?" said Catherine. "Gabe can do his worst, but nothing is going to prevent me from seeing this through to the end."

Note: Here we go, my first Beauty and the Beast fic. Hope you enjoy!