Chapter 1: Fantasies
Catherine was examining some evidence from a recently opened hotel homicide when Warrick walked into the lab one afternoon,"Hey, Cath, um, can we talk for a sec?" he asked.
Catherine turned. "Oh, hey, Warrick," she said, smiling warmly. "You don't look so good. What's wrong?" She flashed him a concerned look before she rose, crossing the room to meet him.
Warrick sighed. "Tina left me," he replied simply. "She couldn't handle my crazy hours."
Catherine sighed sympathetically as she patted his arm. "I'm sorry it didn't work out."
Warrick nodded. "Yeah, me too, but I think Tina had a feeling it wouldn't. I had faith, but she was always hesitant."
"Is there anything I can do?" Catherine asked him softly.
Warrick shook his head. "It was final three weeks ago," he told her with another sigh.
Catherine gasped. "Why didn't you say something?" she inquired.
"I guess I was embarrassed that it didn't work out because of me," he replied.
Catherine nodded knowingly. "But, Warrick, Tina left of her own free will," she said gently.
Warrick nodded, too. "I guess you're right." Suddenly, he smiled, "Cath, I know this might sound weird, but, um, do you think we could have a drink after work?"
Catherine blinked. "Warrick, are you sure you're ready for this? I mean, isn't it a little soon?"
Warrick shook his head. "I made a mistake, and I'm ready to move past it," he told her in a steady tone.
Catherine smiled, impressed by Warrick's strength. "Sure. Where should we go?" she asked.
"How 'bout Chauncey's? My treat."
"I'll pick you up around 8:00."
"That's perfect. Lindsay's sleeping at a friend's for a few nights because they have a week-long vacation this week." She paused.
"Listen, as long as you're here, do you wanna help me with this evidence?"
Warrick nodded. "Sure. What've we got?" he inquired as he stepped into the lab.
"An audio tape. Greg found it in the hotel hallway while you were searching the bathroom. I was hoping you could help me enhance it." Catherine replied.
Before either of them could speak again, they heard a groan from behind them.
Catherine gasped again. "That sounded like..."
"Grissom," Warrick finished as concern dripped from his voice.
They turned, and sure enough, Grissom was lying in the doorway.
They exchanged worried glances and ran to him.
"Gil, what happened?" Catherine asked as they helped him up.
Grissom struggled to speak as he walked heavily between Catherine and Warrick.
"Easy, Gil, easy." Catherine's voice was gentle as Warrick helped her settle Grissom into a chair. "I'll get you some water," she told him softly.
"What happened, man?" Warrick questioned.
"I got blitzed from behind by Clancy, our suspect. I called the cops. I've got a really bad headache, though, so I couldn't drive back," Grissom replied with another groan.
"Why didn't you call us?" Catherine asked as she came back with the water and an Aspirin. "Warrick and I would've picked you up. Any of us would've, actually."
Grissom nodded as he took the water and the pill. " I know, but I was in a lotta pain, so I wasn't thinking straight."
"We understand," Catherine told him with a smile. "Listen, why don't you go up to the new lounge and get some rest, give that Aspirin a
chance to work. We'll wake you up when we get that tape enhanced."
Grissom flashed her a grateful smile. "That sounds good. Thanks, Cath."
"No problem, Gil."
With that, Grissom headed upstairs, leaving Catherine and Warrick to cast concerned looks in his direction.