Disclaimers: Not mine

Spoilers: Play With Fire

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CONSEQUENCES – (Chapter 1)

"Without the people, there is no lab." Grissom looked at Robert pointedly before rushing out the door. He wasn't about to waste another second arguing with the head of the lab over something he knew they disagreed on, especially since he had a friend to hurry after. He could still smell the leftover odour from the explosion as he wove his way through the busy hallway. Spotting Nick coming out of the conference room, he decided to save some time by asking if others had seen where Catherine had gone, "Nick!"

Nick looked up from the file he was reading, "Yeah Griss?"

"Have you seen Catherine?"

"Uh...no..." The younger CSI reluctantly answered.

Sensing the hesitance, Grissom frowned, "Nick, is something wrong?"

"I talked to Warrick."

"About the explosion?"

"Yeah, it's...it's not like Catherine to slip up like this. Is she alright?"

Grissom paused for a second before shaking his head, "I don't know." He was about to head off to continue his search but remembered something, "Nick?"

"Yeah?"

"I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk about this with anyone else. They'll find out when they need to. I don't want useless rumours floating around, especially not right now."

"Wouldn't have talked even if you didn't tell me not to. If you find Catherine, make sure she's alright?"

Grissom nodded and headed to the one place he knew Catherine might be. He was glad Catherine's habits were almost as predictable as his when he found her where he thought she would be - the roof. He slowly approached her, not wanting to scare her or cause her anymore aggravation. "Catherine?"

Without turning around, she answered, "I just wanna be alone for a bit, Grissom."

"Haven't you been alone for long enough?" He stepped up so that he was by her side now, "It's because you keep insisting on being alone and doing things on your own that..." He trailed off when she shot him a glare. "Catherine, you're not superwoman."


Shaking her head, a bitter laugh escaped her lips, "I thought I could do it. I thought I could juggle work and home and everything else life might throw at me. I convinced myself that there was nothing to it." She closed her eyes, not wanting to acknowledge the tears in them, "I just wish I didn't have to learn the truth the hard way."

"Everyone makes mistakes. You've been dealing with a lot of things in your life lately..."

"That doesn't make me feel any better." She opened her eyes and looked at him, "Greg and Sara and everyone else could've been killed."

"They weren't."

"Yeah? Tell that to Greg. He's lying in a hospital bed with serious burns to his back! He wouldn't be there if it wasn't for me."

"You need time off. You need to get away from work. You need to go home and get some rest. Spend some time with Lindsey."

Again, she laughed bitterly, "You know, I wish I could..."

"What do you mean?"

"Lindsey doesn't want to spend time with her mother who couldn't even bring her father's killer to justice."

"That's not true..."

"Grissom, a lot of things have changed in my life since Eddie's death."

"Then why couldn't you just tell me that?"

"Well what do you expect me to do? Come crying to you everytime Lindsey gets into a fight at school? Call you up in the middle of the night when I think I can't deal with everything anymore?"

"Yes." Grissom answered calmly.

"You know, if you weren't such a hypocrite, I'd actually be touched."

"What?"

"When I'm in trouble, you want me to come to you for help. You want me to talk to you, to share with you my problems. And yet when you're in trouble, you don't come to me for help. You don't talk to me or share with me your problems. So what does that mean?"

"That's different."

"Of course it is! It always is!"

"Catherine, please..." Grissom reached out for her, trying to show her he wasn't trying to push her away.

"You know what? Whatever!" Catherine pulled away and held up both hands in a defensive stance, "I'm not even supposed to be here anymore. I'll see you in a week."

Grissom watched with a broken heart as Catherine stormed away from him and out of the lab to start her 5-day suspension. Though heartbroken, he wasn't entirely helpless. He began having an idea as to what it was he had to do now...

*To Be Continued*