Interlude 5-2: Fantasy Found
Disclaimer: If they belonged to me I wouldn't be writing this.
A/N: Now it's time for Warrick's POV.
He'd known she wasn't going to be happy. It was the reason he hadn't brought it up earlier, with the whole team. Then as the bright lights of Vegas had drawn her attention to the ring and he'd known he'd hurt her. But it wasn't until she snapped at David that he realized he'd hurt himself as well. A part of Warrick's heart broke as he watched Catherine crumble for just a moment before she pulled her mask back into place.
I'm sorry, Cath. More sorry than you'll ever know. I needed to know that I had someone… something to look forward to, to hold on to. Life is too short for 'what ifs'. I'm not sure if I love her yet, but I might.
He'd tried to talk to her, but she'd brushed him off. In that moment she'd reminded him of Grissom, with his ability to compartmentalize and focus on the case no matter the surroundings.
I have to explain…I need to make sure we're going to be okay…to know that I haven't lost her.
"Can we talk? Bout this?"
Warrick lifted his hand to flash his ring and make his meaning obvious. They'd always understood each other, but he didn't want to leave her room to avoid him.
Good. Now just say it like you practiced.
"You know…what happened to Nick…it just got me thinking… life is soo short, you know. It's almost…it's almost shorter than we wanna ever believe."
"Live for the day."
Catherine's half smile of understanding broke his heart just a little bit more.
"Exactly…so, I, uh, I went ahead and asked this young lady I've been seeing, Tina, to marry me."
He maintained eye contact, gaze unguarded and emotionally open, willing Catherine to see what he couldn't tell her, begging for her blessing.
"You know that I'm happy for you."
But he'd always been able to read her and her eyes were telling him a different story.
I have to know for sure.
"Well, it also feels like you're not so happy for me."
"Warrick… you know the thing that makes a fantasy great is the possibility that it might come true… and when you loose that possibility … just kinda sucks."
Warrick flinched as she spoke, acknowledging the previously unspoken truth of their relationship. He knew that there was nothing he could do to make this better, easier, for her, but he'd never been able to stand idle when she was in pain.
Catherine held up her hand to stop him. She shook her head sadly and he lowered his gaze to the table in defeat.
Catherine stepped away and started to move around him. She paused briefly as she drew even with him. The light brush of her hand on his shoulder and down his forearm almost destroyed him.
"Be happy 'Rick."
Catherine walked out of the layout room and left Warrick to rebuild his own facades.
Dinner with Nick, Greg, and Grissom had gone surprisingly well. The guys had teased him mercilessly for not telling them before hand and threatened all sorts of retaliation. Grissom, of course, had merely sat back and watched, amused. Afterwards, in a quiet moment between just the two of them, Grissom offered his congratulations.
"Congratulations Warrick. She's a lucky woman. I look forward to meeting her."
Grissom looked around nervously before speaking again.
Warrick almost choked on his drink.
Oh Shit! He always has been able to see more clearly when he's not involved.
"Damn Grissom. You don't pull your punches do you?"
"I need to know."
"I don't know Griss. But I can't change things now, and I don't want to."
Grissom let things rest at that and dinner was over. The guys piled into their respective cars and headed home in the morning light. Warrick headed home to his wife for the first time. He called out as he walked into his condo.
She was waiting for him in the dinning nook. She rose as he entered the room and moved to kiss him lightly on the cheek.
"Hey baby, welcome home."
Warrick sighed and hugged Tina tightly.
This…this is worth it.
A/N 2: Please leave me some love and let me know what you thought.