Disclaimers: The show and its characters are NOT mine.

Spoilers: Stuff on Catherine's love life, bits and pieces of Grissom's hearing, and "Lady Heather's Box"

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THERE WAS A TIME

I sit in my office, watching her as she works feverishly on her paperwork. My own pile has been forgotten now, like on many other
nights when I have the honour of her company. She does this to me sometimes. Ok, I lied. She does this to me everytime. Everytime I'm
with her, I gravitate towards her. I like to watch her when she doesn't know it. No, not in some sick, perverted way. I think she's
beautiful and actually, I think she knows of my habit but she knows me better than to question it. So again, I sit here tonight, watching
as she tries to finish her already-diminishing pile of forms and I find myself reflecting on the past. Our past.

There was a time when she was married to a man I loathed. I didn't only despise him because he was with her but I despised Eddie simply
for *being* Eddie. Ever since the day I met him, I knew he didn't deserve her. I'm not saying I deserved her but I knew, without a
doubt, that she deserved better. But she was married to him and I didn't think it was my business to tell her how to live her life. So
even after numerable fights with him that always resulted in her and Lindsey coming to my place, I kept quiet. My heart told me to beg her
to stay...forever. But my head told me to shut up. So I did.


There was a time when a glimmer of hope appeared when she told me she was ending it with Eddie for good. The divorce was filed and Eddie
had moved out. She seemed happier and the bruises she sometimes sported (and tried to hide) during her marriage disappeared with her
ex. I thought maybe...no. I was wrong. How could I have even considered it? A woman like her, with a guy like me? Never. She began
dating the district engineer. Paul Newsome. Never met him. Never want to. Of course, I may be a little biased on my opinion on him so let's
move on.

There was a time when I felt my life was coming to a sudden end. I was told I would lose my hearing eventually. The process had already
begun. As a CSI, I rely on my senses to tell me what I need to know about the crime. Losing even one sense would be devastating. So how
did I react to this? Did I tell my team? Did I tell my best friend? No. I kept it to myself. I made up excuses for keeping it to myself.
But I knew she knew something was wrong. She always knows.

There was a time when I thought I had lost her for good. Eddie had just passed away and I wanted desperately for her to know that I was
there for her. But as usual, my words came out wrong and she turned to others for comfort. I felt angry and confused. Why was she
shutting me out? I used to be the one she turned to for help. For comfort. Then it hit me. What she was doing to me was exactly what I
was doing to her. I shut her out and so, she shut me out. And I deserved every bit of it.

There was a time when I felt like I was losing control of everything. I was losing my hearing. I was losing...or even worse, I had already
lost my best friend. I was in complete despair. And that was when she showed me that she had never left. She held out her hand for me and
this time, without hesitation, I grabbed it and held on for my dear life. And I've been holding on ever since.

She looks up at me with a suspicious look, interrupting my contemplative mood.

There was a time when I would've been embarrassed of being caught staring at her. There was a time when I would've shut down and just
walked away.

I smile and look into her beautiful blue eyes as I tell her, "I love you."

I'm glad to say, that time has long passed.

The End