Disclaimer: CSI and its related characters belong to CBS, Alliance Atlantis, and the show's creators; no copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note: Heap loads of thanks to beaujolais for the beta; awesome friendship and mutual enthusiasm for this 'ship. Any mistakes you find are most definitely mine.

ooo

Home

After loosening his tie, Brass sank heavily into his desk chair. The evening had progressed into the realm of the surrealistic and he needed a break.

Actually, he needed a stiff drink… quite possibly a double.

However, what he really craved was her company to deter him from doing something detrimental to the unruly suspect in their current investigation. Funnily enough, that might've done the trick; they could've had a solid lead by now.

Rubbing his tired eyes, he opened them and a folded piece of paper on the corner of his desk caught his attention. Brass looked up wondering who had left it there.

Settling back in his chair Brass unfolded the note, immediately recognizing the familiar feminine scrawl.

Jim,

There are times when I feel as if I'm fighting an endless battle, with this job, with myself. That's when I realize I've lost all of my control and I don't know what to do.

But the truth is…

You keep me grounded. You keep me from drowning. And whenever I feel I'm losing myself, I need only to close my eyes and picture you and I'm home.

On reaching the end of the message a second time, Jim registered her presence in the hallway.

He looked up and met eyes filled with gratitude and warmth.

Brass held her stare then waved her into his office. She faltered and he quirked a questioning eyebrow.

"Thank you," she mouthed after a few seconds then smiled.

Brass hesitated before returning the gesture and quickly checked his disappointment as he realized she wasn't going to honor his request. Beginning to worry he glanced away then stood, intent on meeting her at the doorway, but she was already nearing the corner at the end of the corridor.

Brass took off after her only to be interrupted in mid-stride.

She paused long enough to share eye contact with him and he grinned. Anyone paying attention would've picked up on the amount of adoration he instilled into that single stare. She lingered a moment then disappeared.

Brass's unwelcome interruption moved away and he sighed.

Light-hearted and more in control of his own restlessness, Brass turned and headed in the opposite direction. Tucking the note into his left breast pocket, directly above his heart, he felt better about taking on the rest of the evening.

He would definitely find some way to make this up to her.

Catherine deserved nothing less.

Fin