Disclaimer: Still have no official power over these characters or the people who get paid to play with them.
Spoilers: I guess…it's a late post-ep to King Baby
A/N: This is the second in my little world of post-ep ficlets. This is going to be a one-shot because there wasn't enough left hanging at the end of the episode to really inspire me, and the new one airs tonight.
In which Warrick hears Confession
"Hey Warrick, you got a minute?"
Catherine queried bringing his attention off of the crime scene photos up to where she stood in the doorway. He studied her for a moment. The stronger light from the hallway cause her blond hair to glow unnaturally and cast the rest of her in silhouette. She looked like what she was, a strong, and intelligent, take charge woman.
A person would have to know her very well before they ever noticed the insecurity underneath it all. It took me at least 2 years and I know I've paid her more attention than is strictly necessary. Looking at her I still can't believe how much she's survived over the years, between Sam Braun, Eddie, Lindsey, and work. At least I'm not the only one who's noticed how hard she works.
"What can I do for you Cath?"
She came into the layout room and sat on the stool next to him, her posture more defensive than it had been moments before. On days like this, before she became his supervisor, he used to reach out and give her something to hold onto while she gathered her resolve to let him know what was wrong.
Know what, screw this subordinate crap. She looks like she needs a hug.
He didn't hug her but he did reach out and place his hand on her arm. He slid his hand down her arm and squeezed hers lightly. Eventually her head lifted and she focused on him.
"Am I a good supervisor Warrick? I can't tell any more. I always thought this would come naturally to me. But since Ecklie messed with the team and promoted me all I've done is caused problems. I got in a fight with Sara and pissed off Grissom. I allowed vital evidence to be compromised by the press. I can't tell if I belong here anymore or not, so I'm asking you."
Her eyes dropped back to the hands in her lap as she finished her speech. He'd been expecting something like this for a while now. He ran his thumb over the back of her hand reassuringly.
"Catherine, you work harder than anybody else here, and not just during shift but all day long. Everyone's allowed to have off days. You just happened to have one at the same time as Sara. As for the camera, it's not your job to keep people from the crime scene. That's a job for Brass and the police. Nick trusts and respects you. I trust and respect you. So do Sara and Grissom. You're a great CSI and a better supervisor."
He could see the corners of her mouth turning slightly upwards as he spoke. He felt good knowing he was helping lighten her mood so he continued.
"Cath you knew how we felt about you before you were promoted. Why do you think anything would have changed since then?"
"It's different from here. Nobody ever tells you you're doing a good job anymore. It's all about what you didn't get done or could have done better, especially with Ecklie in charge. I hadn't realized how much I relied on little compliments from you guys and Grissom to keep me going until they stopped. I don't know how Grissom does it, take the constant criticism from above and carry it all himself. He really is impervious."
"You know Cath, just because Grissom does this all alone doesn't mean that you need to too. Any of us would have done anything for Grissom or the rest of the team. That doesn't change just because you're in charge now. Besides you never tried to be Grissom before, so why start now? Whatever you need I'm here."
Her smile broadened a little more and now she turned her hand over and squeezed back.
"Thanks Warrick. I might take you up on that someday soon. You knew that Grissom, Brass and I went out for drinks after finishing up that baby case, right? Well I swear somebody switched Grissom's on us because we were talking while we waited for Brass and he said he missed my tenacity and passion, which okay weird for Grissom, but fine. Then he said he even missed my tush! I nearly choked on my drink!"
"Well it is a very nice tush, Cath. Hey! Ouch! No hitting!"
Warrick's other hand shot out to stop her from connecting again. He'd meant what he'd said, even if it had only been said to get a rise out of her. He gripped both her wrists in one of his strong hands and tipped her head up to his.
"You're a great supervisor Catherine. It's good to see you smiling again. Now I have a case to get back to. My supervisor's going to be annoyed if I don't get it solved today. The control freak thinks we should have a better solve rate than the night shift."
With that her turned her towards the door and gave her a little shove. Catherine flounced to the door, pretending to be annoyed. Once there she turned and gave him a genuine smile. She threw one last comment at him before heading to her office.
"I'd miss your tush if you left my shift."
Warrick just groaned and turned back to the scattered photos. Working with Catherine was never boring.