Disclaimer: They're not mine.

Rating: T or PG-13 for drug-mentioning and swearing. Let me know if you think it should be higher.

Summary: 'Zwischenzug' – a chess move made to play for time. GCR

Not too complex, really, but I hope you guys'll be able to keep up with this. I'm sure you will; you're not stupid (you ship GCR – how could you be stupid??) Basically, this fic jumps backwards and forwards in time – showing the development of the G/C relationship to put the present-day argument they have into context.

I'm having one long fight running through the Even-Numbered chapters as Catherine finds out about Grissom and Sara, and confronts him about it – and, well, everything comes out, I guess. The Odd-Numbered chapters just show their history (which is possibly the best thing to speculate about, out of all television characters ever.) I'm sure you'll pick it up. Anyway, I'd love to get some feedback from this. I reeled out about ten chapters in the week off school in which I was supposed to be studying – it just sort of fell out onto the page. Tell me what you think and – Enjoy! Love LJ xXx

PS - I'd really appreciate no spoilers beyond 7x07, living in England and all.

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Zwischenzug. Chapter One. The Very Beginning

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On the very first day that Catherine met the young Gil Grissom, she'd just turned nineteen – nineteen and eight days – though he'd never have guessed it when he met her on that day. Well, not so much 'day' – rather more at night. She'd been at a party getting very wasted with a few of her dancer friends from the club – they'd all been invited to some guy's apartment downtown. He was some kind of aspiring music producer or something, Freddy or Eddie or someone.

Anyway, this music guy had turned up at the club one night and taken a shine to Catherine. She hadn't been flattered; guys did this all the time, she'd come to realise, in the hope that 'dancer' really did equal 'slut'. Sometimes that was true.

But Catherine had always tried to be wary of guys like that – at least, before she'd had a few shots and lines of coke in the dressing rooms; she could never quite get her mother's voice out of her head when she was sober. That frustrated her, though. The whole point in her running away from home was to get away from that – that rationality. It encouraged her to try and get as wasted as possible – every night.

For the most part, she succeeded. And, when this music guy had failed to take advantage of her despite at least three easy opportunities, Catherine really was flattered – and then a bit disappointed – and then just determined. She accepted his invite to a party over at his place, and promised to bring a few of her hottest friends with her. That was all he wanted, apparently; Catherine wanted to make him want more.

So, at that party, she had more tequila shots, vodka shots and snorted more coke in Freddy/Eddie's bathroom than she'd ever done in a night. And Music Guy – who turned out to be called Eddie in the end – finally started feeling her up against the fridge door.

That was all going well until a few seconds after he rammed his tongue into her mouth. It wasn't anything to do with him, but just that the alcohol and the coke finally hit her in a big chemical mess that shot straight to her head.

"Oh Jesus," she muttered suddenly, pushing him off of her. "Oh fuck."

Eddie frowned – what was she doing? She'd been up for it a second ago; he could see it in her eyes – hungry, adoring. "What?" he said – a little too forcefully. Catherine looked up, wide-eyed – pupils like black pinpricks.

"Oh, no – it's not you," she assured him quickly. Damn, if she'd just screwed things up with him… "I'm just feeling really fucked right now. All the…everything. Shit. Uh – can I go get some fresh air or something?"

Eddie's expression softened slightly and he grinned, kissing her neck and letting his hand travel between her thighs. "Sure thing, babe," he drawled. "As long as you're coming back to finish this."

Catherine smiled back. Yeah, she was. And she tripped out of the kitchen towards his front door, grabbing Stephanie's wrist and dragging her out with her, their heels clicking together in irregular patterns back down the four flights of stairs.

Steph fell out of the apartment block entrance into the cooler air, hand-in-hand with Catherine and giggling.

"This is insane!" she laughed into the early April skies. "I'm fucking wasted, Cat!"

Catherine blinked up at the night sky – it should've been a deep pitch black, but it was fogged with city smog and funny-coloured – and took a few deep breaths. She was feeling better already. She didn't say anything; Stephanie lay down on the concrete path that led to Eddie's apartment block, eyes shut and still laughing. Catherine kept breathing, as though she couldn't ever quite fill her lungs enough.

"Woo! Vegas!" Steph hollered as loud as she could and then started laughing all over again.


On the third floor of the apartment block, Gil Grissom sat crouched into the corner of the sofa. He frowned and tried to keep his eyes on the textbook that balanced on his knees. It wasn't working. The thumping beat from the upstairs apartment shook his head and he sighed.

That was it. He'd go down to the landlord tomorrow morning and see if he could move out earlier than the contract held him to. He couldn't take any more of those parties, throbbing through the cracking plaster above his head.

Outside the apartment block, some stupid girls were screaming into the sticky Vegas nighttime.

He had to move out. He had to move out.

He worked as many night shifts as he could just to pay for the goddamn rent and to get away from the shaking in the walls and the streams of people staggering past his door. Nothing made you feel lonelier than being surrounded by people who talked and talked, but never to you. And then he knew he spent half his time at work – the youngest, least experienced CSI intern on the team, tape-lifting cocaine from the dead fingertips of people just like those who danced and stamped their feet across the floors above him.

He had to move out.


Catherine grabbed a tight hold of Stephanie's hand – fake nails clashing – and dragged her to her feet.

"Come on, Steph," she said, her head feeling a lot steadier. "Let's go inside."

Stephanie stumbled onto her heels and let herself be dragged along by Catherine, bouncing along the floor like a child's toy on a string, with wheels too small for the places it was going. Catherine hauled her up the stairs and grinned with her teeth.

She tripped on the last step of the third floor and Stephanie dissolved into giggles behind her. Catherine bit back the smile, thinking about getting back to Eddie and hoping he didn't already have another dancer pressed up against the fridge door; that was the thing with these parties – you had to single out what you wanted and really work to make sure you got it.

"Come on, come on, Steph," Catherine muttered and yanked her friend's hand. Stephanie lay down in the stairwell, laughing endlessly.

"You go, Cath," Stephanie slurred, blinking at the slotted stairs above her. "I like it here."

So she went. One-Two-Three-Four-Five… Catherine counted the doors set into the walls along her right-hand side. Six-Seven-Eight-Nine… No wait… it was eight. It was the eighth door along.

Catherine straightened herself up and brushed her fringe back from eyes. Taking a breath, she knocked on the apartment door and put on a smile. She could still hear the muffled music pulsing through the walls. She waited. After what felt like ages, the door swung open.

"Finally," Catherine said, pushing past the guy at the door and walking into the apartment. She paced the living room floor for a while before realising something was not quite right. With a frown, she turned to face a very confused Gil Grissom who still stood by the open door.

"What the fuck's going on here?" she demanded. "Where's Eddie?"

"I…" Gil didn't have an answer for the evidently intoxicated stranger in his apartment – overspill from Eddie's pounding parties. Catherine sighed, exasperated, and walked briskly out of the living room, into the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen – all the time calling,

"Eddie?" she slammed a closet door. "Eddie?"

Gil stood – motionless and confused – watching her roam the apartment. He didn't know what to do and all he could think about was how he had a lecture the next morning.

After checking all of the rooms in the small apartment, Catherine found her way back to the living room and stood in the middle of the rug, staring suspiciously about her.

"Excuse me…erm… Miss?" Gil began, uncertainly. "I think you should…"

But Catherine wasn't listening. A frown darkened on her face and she swayed a little on her heels.

"Eddie," she announced to Gil's apartment. "Eddie, I think I'm going to be sick."

"Oh Jesus," Gil said. He let the front door slam shut in rushing to her, but Catherine paled, vomited on the rug and promptly passed out.

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