First Date part 2

Warrick walked into a suspiciously empty and quiet Willows' house. He looked around in the living room before making his way to the kitchen. The counter blocked his view of the cabinet under the sink so he decided that that room, too, was empty. Catherine's room was empty, the bathrooms were empty, and Lindsey was laying in her room pouting.

He walked into the room as she let out a big belch. "Oh, Linds, that's disgusting. What do you say?"

"Bite me," she muttered.

"What was that?" Warrick asked.

"Go away and leave me alone," she said louder.

Warrick turned his ear toward her. "No. What is it that you say?" he coaxed teasingly.

"How 'bout get out of my room, you're not the boss of me?" Lindsey suggested sweetly.

Warrick winced. "Ouch. Where's your mom?" he asked, thinking that she had something to do with it. When Lindsey's face darkened, he knew he was right.

"She's in the kitchen," Lindsey grumbled. "And you're going to be mad at her too when you find out what she did."

Warrick laughed. "I seriously doubt it."

"Oh yeah?" Lindsey challenged. "She's gonna cancel your date tomorrow night."

Warrick stopped laughing and stared at Lindsey. She looked serious. Even though Catherine and Warrick had been "official" for a while, they hadn't managed to go on a date yet. Their first date was scheduled the next day. "What? Why?"

Lindsey sat up. "My Aunt Martha's bringing her kids tonight." She tried very hard not to pout.

"So? Can't your grandma watch them?" Warrick asked worriedly. He'd been looking forward to the date for far too long for it to be canceled!

Lindsey shook her head. "Martha's bringing them here to get away from life for a while. Her and grandma are going on some kind of spa thingy for the weekend. Grandma knew about the date, that's why she arranged for me to babysit." She finally let her bottom lip protrude a bit. "But mom said I'm too young."

Warrick didn't usually take sides in Catherine and Lindsey's fights, but he felt like Catherine was being unfair to the everyone. "How old are the kids?" he asked.

"Well, Amber's eight, Hannah's two, Nate's one, and the new baby, Jack, is about six months. I know they're young, but Amber usually finds something to occupy Hannah, and Nate follows his sisters around like a lost puppy. I help my friend watch her brothers and sisters all the time, and I think I can do it!"

Warrick was impressed by the mini-speech. "Did you tell your mom that?" he asked. Lindsey nodded angrily. "Well, now it's what? Three against one?" he asked with a smirk.

"Four. Aunt Martha will be on my side," Lindsey said, a smile creeping onto her face. Somehow, she didn't feel the need to tell him that her grandma had said she would get a hundred dollars for babysitting. That is if Catherine were ever to agree to it.

"You said she was in the kitchen?" Warrick asked. "I didn't see her when I came in."

"She's working under the sink. Something's got it all clogged up or something," Lindsey said nonchalantly.

"Linds, what did you do?" Warrick asked.

Lindsey shrugged. "Popcicle sticks don't seem to wash down so well, do they?"

Warrick groaned. "Stay here. I'll try to talk to her for now, but we may need to gang up on her later tonight. When did you say your aunt was coming?" he asked.

"Five or six. She's driving."

Warrick walked into the kitchen and leaned over the counter that had earlier obstructed his view. Catherine was wearing some old clothes while she was working on the plumbing. There was something distinctly sexy about a woman with a wrench.

Careful not to alert her to his presence, Warrick crouched down and laid his hand on her thigh. Catherine jerked up and banged her head on the pipe. Warrick winced as Catherine's curses floated throughout the room.

Catherine eased herself out from under the sink and leaned up against some cabinets. "I'm sorry, Cath," Warrick apologized straight-faced. He wanted to laugh, but he figured Catherine would kick his butt if he did.

Catherine glared up at him, thinking he didn't look very sorry. "Why did you do that?" she asked, rubbing her head where she'd hit it. There was already a lump.

"Hey," Warrick said defensively, "I just wanted to say hello to my girl. It's not my fault you reacted the way you did!" He slid down beside her and gently moved her hand away. "I'll kiss it and make it better."

Catherine looked at him expectantly. "Well?"

"Well, what?" Warrick asked. He was wondering how to broach to subject of the date.

"Are you gonna kiss it better or not?" Catherine smirked at him.

Sighing in mock-exasperation, Warrick kissed her forehead. "Better?" he asked teasingly. As much as he was trying to hold onto his conviction to be mad at her, he couldn't.

Catherine got a thoughtful look on her face. "The pain seems to have shifted," she said seriously.

Warrick kissed her nose. "There?" She shook her head. He kissed her on the cheek. "There?" Again, she shook her head. He finally kissed her on the lips. She hummed in agreement and pulled him close.

When they finally came up for air, Warrick cleared his throat. "I talked to Lindsey," he croaked.

The wind went straight out of Catherine's sails. "Boy, War, you sure know how to talk to a girl," she said sarcastically. She noted the look on his face. "I take it she told you about my neices and nephews coming?"

Warrick nodded. "Cath, you can't cancel our date," he said firmly.

Catherine stood up. "We don't have a choice--"

"Yes we do," Warrick interrupted. "Let Lindsey babysit."

Catherine snorted. "Right. Warrick, she's just a kid herself."

Warrick too stood up and backed Catherine against the fridge. "Come on," he said, nuzzling her neck. "Lindsey's gonna be fourteen soon. If you don't start giving her some responsibilities, she's going to rebel."

Catherine tried to remember exactly why she was canceling the date. Warrick was making her thoughts run together and nothing made sense, including the reason she wasn't allowing Lindsey to babysit. "Umm," she said.

Warrick pulled up and kissed her on the mouth before stepping back. "It's our first date. We'll have our cell phones...if you really want, they can stay at my apartment. Mrs. Hendrix from next door, the one with the daughter a little older with Lindsey, can keep an eye on them."

The fog was clearing from Catherine's head and she glared at Warrick. "You think you're so slick, don't you?" she asked.

Warrick smirked, knowing he was close to winning. "I'll spend the night tonight and help watch the kids. Then tomorrow, I'll take them mini-golfing or something while you do your girly thing with Lindsey."

When Catherine's face softened, he knew he had her. "You're too sweet for your own good," she informed him.

Warrick grinned. "So the date's not canceled?" he asked hopefully.

Catherine shook her head. "No." She smiled ruefully. "It seems your persuasive skills are better than I thought. Do you want to tell Lindsey, or should I?"

"Lindsey!" Warrick bellowed. "She said yes!"

Catherine shook her head when she heard her daughter's squeal. "When I said tell her, I meant to go into her room, not yell across the house."

Warrick just shrugged. "I have a friend that owes me a favor. He can fix your sink for you," he said, pulling out his cell phone.

That night, when Martha pulled up to her big sister's house, all was calm. Warrick and Catherine had explained the rules to Lindsey and the sink had been fixed.

Martha winced when Jack started crying. She honked the horn to get Catherine's attention and carefully picked Jack up. The baby needed his diaper changed. Nate was trying to get out of his safety seat, and Amber was helping Hannah out of hers.

Martha grabbed Jack's diaper bag and turned toward the house. She cried out in surprise. Somehow, Warrick had been able to sneak right behind her without her noticing. "I'm Warrick," he introduced himself.

Martha glared at him and shoved Jack into his arms. "Take him inside and change him," she ordered.

Somehow, Warrick wasn't surprised that he was being ordered around by yet another woman in Catherine's family. Unfortunately, he had little to no knowledge of babies so Catherine had to help him.

As soon as Amber and Hannah saw Lindsey, they followed the girl. Nate was still trying to wiggle his way out of his safety seat and when he found that he couldn't, he started screaming. Martha took pity on him and helped him out. "Your sisters are mean, aren't they?" she asked sympathetically.

Nate nodded and clutched his favorite blanket to his chest. "Mean," he said passionately. Martha tickled him and his giggles filled the air. She kissed his forehead and put him down. He ran after his sisters and Lindsey.

Catherine tapped her sister on the shoulder. "Hey, little sis," she said. Martha's hair was a beautiful deep red and her eyes were green. She was everything Catherine wasn't, a family woman with deep roots and a stable family. For her, there had only been one man since the beginning.

Martha turned and enveloped her big sister in a hug. "Hey Cath," she said happily. "Warrick is better looking than I thought."

Catherine grinned and helped her with the kids' bags. When they walked inside, they found Warrick bouncing Jack, trying to get him to stop crying. Warrick sighed with relief and tried to give the baby back to Martha. She shook her head and backed away. "Nuh uh. I'm going to pick up mom now."

Martha kissed her kids and took their safety seats out of her mini-van before getting in and leaving. Warrick turned to Catherine with a slightly desperate look on his face.

Catherine took pity on him and took Jack. "Look in his diaper bag and find the can of formula. Read the directions and fix his bottle," she ordered as she sat down.

Lindsey was playing tag with Amber, Hannah, and Nate. She was running at an exaggeratedly slow pace because Hannah and Nate were so young. Amber was careful to include their little brother and sister as well.

When Warrick came back with the bottle, warmed to the perfect temperature, Catherine passed Jack back over to him. "Cath!" he protested over Jack's cries.

"You agreed," Catherine said smugly.

Knowing she had him there, Warrick put his feet on the coffee table and propped Jack up on his knees. Pretty soon, Jack was sucking on the nipple like he hadn't eaten in ages.

Nate squealed when Catherine got ahold of him. While Warrick fed the baby, he watched all the kids in amazement. They all looked alike...and they all looked like they could be Catherine's kids. Amber and Hannah were both blonde, but Hannah had green eyes and Amber had blue eyes. Both of the boys' hair was red, Nate's a few shades lighter than Jack's fuzz and both of their eyes were blue.

Lindsey had Amber and Hannah pinned, tickling them until they cried mercy. It was such a normal scene.

By the end of the night, Warrick was laying on the floor with Nate curled on his right side, Hannah between him and Catherine and Lindsey and Amber sleeping on Nate's right side. Jack was asleep in his carseat beside Catherine.

"It's a good thing I brought all the blankets and pillows out here," Catherine whispered into the silent darkness. Although Warrick's right arm was around Nate, Catherine was laying in such a way that their hands were entertwined.

"Yeah," Warrick agreed quietly.

"They're very taken to you," Catherine commented. If the lights were on, everyone would be able to see how her eyes shone with adoration.

Warrick turned his head. It was dark in the room, but he could make out Catherine's silhouette in the darkness. "They're great kids." He wasn't going to admit how taken with them he was. It made him think of the possibility of his own kids with Catherine's looks and his charm.

They let themselves be lulled into a comfortable silence. "Thank you," Catherine whispered as Warrick started to drift off.

"For what?" Warrick asked sleepily.

"Being so great. Convincing me to go on the date. Having more confidence in my daughter than I do," Catherine said. The list was endless, but that was to name a few.

Warrick smiled lazily as he fell asleep. "I love you," he mumbled.

Catherine's eyes opened wide and she laid awake well into the night until Jack started making noises like he was going to cry. Then she took him into the other room and fed him and rocked him and burped him and generally stayed with him the entire night even when he was asleep. She managed to get sleep when he did, but in the morning, when Warrick came in, Jack was chewing on Catherine's hair and she was fast asleep.

"Come on, little man," Warrick said quietly.

Lindsey helped Warrick get the kids ready for a day out while Catherine slept. When Warrick left to go wherever he was going, she curled up beside her mom and went back to sleep.

At around noon, Catherine woke up abruptly and noticed the empty bed. "Jack!" she said in a panicked voice.

Lindsey walked in with a glass of juice. "Warrick took them out." She sat down beside her mom. "He's gonna make a good dad someday."

Catherine avoided her daughter's eyes. "Yeah," she said vaguely. "Did he say what they were doing?"

"Yep. He had the whole day planned actually. Right now, they would be having lunch at Chuck-E-Cheese...probably will be for a few hours. Then to some kiddy-carnival until around six when he's dropping them off here to get things prepared for the big date. He'll be here to pick us up at seven." She grinned at how romantic Warrick could be.

Catherine scrubbed her hand over her face and groaned. "Lindsey..." She shook her head. "What are we supposed to do all day?"

"Shop?" she suggested hopefully.

Catherine nodded reluctantly. Her daughter was definitely right. She needed the perfect outfit. "Did he say if it was supposed to be casual or not?"

"He said to dress up and to wear your dancing shoes," Lindsey said immediately. Then she winced. That's not what he said. He said comfortable shoes. "Umm."

Catherine noticed the guilty look on Lindsey's face. "Let me guess. The dancing part was supposed to be a surprise?" Lindsey nodded. "It's okay. I already figured that out."

While the ladies headed out for a day of shopping, Warrick was sorely regretting taking the kids out. Hannah and Nate were mean little kids. They were at Chuck-E-Cheese eating pizza. While everyone had their lunch, Jack let it be known that he was hungry too. Warrick fixed his bottle with one of the bottles of water Lindsey had so graciously packed and put a blanket under the bottle so Jack could eat while everyone else was eating. Warrick turned away for a second to stop Hannah from pouring coke down her front, and Jack started wailing again.

Warrick carefully put the coke out of Hannah's reach and turned to put the bottle back in place. He was perplexed to discover that the bottle was nowhere in sight. Then he noticed Nate happily sucking away at the formula.

"He does that a lot," Amber said solemnly, not the least bit fazed by her baby brother's cries.

Warrick took the bottle away from Nate and gave it back to Jack and winced when something cold was dumped into his lap. He turned to Hannah who was smiling innocently. She'd stood up in her seat to get the drink and almost had it to her lips when she dropped it on Warrick.

"She does that a lot," Amber said. Warrick got the distinct impression, from the look on her face as she took a bite of her pizza, that she was making fun of him.

Warrick stood up to get napkins and had to stop himself from barreling into Hannah who had somehow made it down from her seat. She held out her arms to be picked up. Warrick shook his head and one-handedly lifted her back onto the bench. "Stay," he ordered.

When he turned away, something hit his back. Closing his eyes breifly to calm himself down, Warrick turned back around and glared at the three perfectly angelic faces. It was only the slightly guilty look in Amber's eyes that gave her away. "Why don't you three go play?" he suggested.

They didn't need to be told twice. Warrick hurried over and grabbed a handful of napkins, keeping an eye on the four kids as best he could. After a few hours of sitting with Jack, watching the kids play, Warrick decided it was time to go. Nate did not want to leave, but Amber convinced him that Warrick would take him somewhere even better.

Warrick strapped all the kids down and drove them to the carnival.

Catherine finally found the perfect dress and the perfect shoes and was ready to go. Lindsey, on the other hand, insisted she get some jewelry to go with the outfit. "No," Catherine said firmly.

"Accessorizing is important," Lindsey reminded her mom.

"No, it's not," Catherine retorted. "Come on, Lindsey." Rolling her eyes in disgust, Lindsey followed her mom to the car.

At six o'clock exactly, Warrick pulled up to the Willows' house. He had been tempted to just leave the kids at the carnival, but he figured Catherine would probably murder him. No one would ever know what ever happened either.

Lindsey came out as Amber tried to get Hannah from her carseat. The way Warrick did it was so not that way her mom did it. Lindsey smirked at the look on the younger girl's face and helped Nate out first. Warrick was so glad Jack was asleep. He didn't think he could take another round of 'guess what's wrong with me' from the baby.

"I'll see you later, baby girl," Warrick promised.

Lindsey smirked at how relieved he was to be leaving them with her. "Yeah. See ya."

An hour later, Catherine was running around trying to get ready. Her hair was curled and her makeup was perfect. She was perfectly dressed...but she forgot where she put her shoes. She ran into the living room with a slightly panicked look on her face. "Lindsey, have you seen..."

"The shoes around under the kitchen table," Lindsey said.

Catherine sighed with relief. "Thanks, Linds."

She was bending over to put her shoes on when Warrick walked in. "Honey, I'm home!" he called. He stopped when he saw Catherine. "Wow." Catherine was wearing a strapless blue dress that flared at the bottom and brought out her eyes. The black strappy heels made her a little taller than usual. She made the dress look good.

Catherine stood up on suddenly unsteady legs. "Hey," she said lamely.

"You look beautiful," Warrick said, awkwardly holding out the bouquet of pink roses.

Lindsey was howling with laughter over how awkward they were acting around each other. For cryin' out loud, they were totally in love with each other and had been together for a while! "Are we going or not?" she demanded after she managed to stop laughing.

Warrick dragged his eyes away from Catherine. "What?"

"To your apartment? I thought that's where we were going for the night," Lindsey said slowly.

"Oh. Right!" Warrick said quickly. Nate wrapped his arms around Warrick's legs and Warrick picked the little boy up. "Ready to go?" he asked.

Nate nodded enthusiastically. "Lindsey," Catherine said.

Lindsey nodded. "On it." She picked up Jack's carseat. "Come on kids. Follow me." Warrick put Nate down and watched fondly as the little motley crew made its way outside.

"You look great," Catherine said to Warrick. He was wearing slacks and a nice dress shirt with the top two buttons unbutton.

"You don't look so bad yourself," Warrick leered.

The awkwardness melted away and Catherine rolled her eyes. "Keep your eyes in your head, Brown," Catherine said, sauntering past him. Warrick watched her go before picking up the kids' bags of clothes and locking the door behind him. It was going to be a long night.

Warrick and Catherine dropped the kids off, Warrick talking breifly with Mrs. Hendrix from next door. Then they were off. The first thing they did was head to dinner.

"Names, sir?"

Catherine looked around the fancy restaurant while Warrick talked to the man about their reservations. They were led to a table with a perfect view of the rest of the restaurant. "Wow, Warrick," Catherine teased. "I'm impressed."

Warrick smiled softly and took her hand. "You should be," he said with a mock-serious look. "I had to sell some vital organs to pay for this."

While it was obvious that he was joking, Catherine's face showed worry at the expense. "Warrick--"

"Don't worry, Cath," Warrick said cheerfully. "They weren't mine." Catherine gave him a perturbed look and he rolled his eyes. "I'm kidding. I have plenty of money to spend on a perfect night out. Just...relax and enjoy yourself."

Just as he said that, her cell phone rang. It was Lindsey. "What's wrong?" Catherine said automatically. She could hear two sets of cries in the background.

"Well, Nate kinda fell onto the coffee table and banged his chin up, but that's not why I'm calling. Jack will not stop crying!"

Catherine's look was deadpan. "Lindsey, you volunteered," she reminded her daughter.

Warrick took the phone from Lindsey. "Go next door and ask Mrs. Hendrix if her daughter, Kendra, can help you watch them. I know she has some babysitting experience. Don't call back unless it's a dire emergency." He hung up the phone and gave it back to Catherine.

Catherine fidgeted. "What if--"

Warrick cut her off. "Lindsey's fine," he said firmly. "If there's a real emergency, she'll call."

Catherine looked doubtful, but she decided to let it drop. "So, did you have fun with the kids today?"

Warrick groaned. "I think they were trying kill me," he said seriously. "How can such cute kids be such nightmares?" He shook his head, thinking of Lindsey. "Don't answer that."

Catherine grinned, knowing what he was thinking. "Did they use the puppy dog eyes too often? I keep telling them that if they use them too often, people will get annoyed. When people get annoyed, the develop immunity." She tried to be serious. "It's a secret, spur of the moment kind of immunity, but it's very effective."

Warrick shook his head at Catherine's downright silliness. "Come on, let's order," he said, catching the waiter's attention.

The rest of the dinner was spent in conversation ranging from happy and delightful to soft and intimate. As the dinner wound down, Catherine decided to bring up the subject she had been avoiding. "Warrick, last night when you were drifting off to sleep, do you remember what you said?"

Warrick thought about it. "The last thing I remember is you thanking me," he said truthfully.

Catherine felt very disappointed. "Well...you said you loved me," she said bluntly.

Warrick froze. "Umm," he said. It was a poor excuse for a stalling tactic and they both knew it. He looked into her wide eyes before looking away and shifting uncomfortably.

Catherine felt bad for putting him on the spot, but she had to know. "Do you love me or not?"

"I--" his voice broke. He cleared his throat. "Cath..." There was a breif silence. "Yes."

At first he was afraid to look at her, but, when he finally did look up, he saw a look of pure euphoria on her face. "Well," she said matter-of-factly. "That's good because I love you too."

Warrick gave her a disgusted look as he signaled for the check. The amusement on his face was clearly tangible and she knew he wasn't really disgusted. "Ready for a surprise?"

"Dancing?" Catherine asked eagerly.

"Lindsey," Warrick muttered.

Catherine grinned. "I'd like to think you had better faith in me as a CSI than that. You're not very subtle," she reminded him.

When Catherine and Warrick finally got back to his apartment at around one o'clock, they found everyone asleep...that is, everyone except a teenage girl with long brown hair and green eyes. "Hey Kendra," Warrick said quietly.

"Have a nice date?" Kendra asked cheerfully. She looked perfectly comfortable with Jack in her arms.

Warrick rolled his eyes playfully. "Yes," he said. "How much do I owe you?"

Kendra seemed to think about. "Full access to your apartment this summer," she finally said.

"That bad?" Warrick asked. He watched as Catherine covered all the kids up with blankets from the fully stocked linen closet.

"No. I just don't want to go to Arkansas."

Warrick stared at the girl. He knew she was a bit of a handful, but overall, she was pretty good. "Okay," he relented. "You're free to go home now."

She stood up and carefully laid Jack in his carseat. "Catch ya later," she called softly as she went back to her own apartment.

"Who was that?"

"The girl next door," Warrick said, somehow getting the feeling that he'd just given trouble a permanent invite.

"Right," Catherine said doubtfully.

"Let's go to bed," Warrick said mischeivously. Catherine gave him a good thump. "Now whose mind is in the gutter? I was talking about sleep, woman."

Catherine rolled her eyes. Yeah, right.

END

AN: Yep. It was purely for the Catherine/Warrick. Kendra will definitely play a roll later on. I need to know about high school parties...involving booze and high school-ish stuff. I'm a freshman and haven't yet experienced the joys of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Just kidding (about the joy part, not the experience part)