Chapter 1: Prologue

FLASHBACK:

Kate Roberts fiddled nervously with her hands as she sat in the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car. The rain splashed on and off the windscreen repeatedly, creating a large box of noise around them. Kate wanted it to consume her, take her out of the car and away from Rob. She hadn't imagined that he would take too kindly to his impending fatherhood, but she hadn't expected him to rant and rave and yell at her, just like he was doing now. Robert Harper was glaring out of his window, angrily muttering to himself every now and then, stray strand of dark hair falling into his eyes, which he flicked away, just exactly in the same way as he was doing with Kate. The fact remained that they were too young to even think about kids; at sixteen, neither of them were wise enough to handle the responsibility. Kate let a tear roll from her eye as Rob started ranting again.

"What the Hell were you thinking, Kate? I'm too young for this!"

Kate bit her lip. "I know, Rob. I'm so sorry..." She wasn't rightly sure why she was apologizing for something that wasn't even her fault in the first place. After all, it takes two to tango. If she remembered correctly, it was Rob who instigated it in the first place. "We can work it out, though, I'm sure of it. It'll be fine."

Rob turned to her, look of serious rage etched on his face. "'We' can work this out? No, Kate. I don't want anything to do with this." He squinted at her, eyes almost shut with repulsion. "This is your mess. Get out of it yourself." He leaned over and opened the passenger door, and a few droplets of rain splashed onto Kate's face, adding to the moisture. Confused, she looked at him. Surely he wasn't that heartless?

"Rob...?" She blinked some tears away and Rob turned the ignition on. "Rob, you can't just leave me here-"

"Get out, Kate." His tone was final, and he'd scared her enough already tonight. She moved, hesitantly, out of the car and Rob pulled the door shut behind her before zooming off into the distance. Standing there, in the pouring rain, her face buried under a cascade of tears, Kate slowly lowered herself onto the ground, despair taking her over.

END FLASHBACK!

Ten years later, Kate Roberts sat at her mirror, examining the photograph of her son, Matthew. The feeling of immense sadness swept over her, as it did every night, knowing she had to leave Matthew, knowing she was missing out on so much of his youth and now he was growing up so fast. Working the night shift took its toll on her life, yet she loved her job, and she found being a CSI so rewarding, getting justice for the people who couldn't do it themselves.

She ran her fingers through her shoulder length blonde hair as she walked into the lounge where her younger sister, Laura, was watching TV with Matthew. Kate sighed and watched in silence as the tears pricked her eyes. Laura was spending more time with Matthew than she was. She did everything, but make his dinner! She looked at her watch. "I'd better be heading out now, don't want to be late..."

Matthew promptly jumped up from his seat and launched himself at Kate. "Bye, Mom...I'll see you in the morning. Be careful!" She had to smile at him, he was so grown up for a ten year old. She crouched down to be on his level so she could give him a proper hug

"Don't worry, Matty, I'll be fine. How about I take you to school tomorrow?" At this, Matthew's smile grew even bigger.

"Yeah, and we could go early and stop for pancakes on the way?" He pleaded. It wasn't often that they managed to have breakfast together.

"Okay. That sounds great, I'll see you in the morning, Be good for Aunt Laura." Kate stood up and headed over to her sister . "I've left some money in the kitchen, treat yourselves to pizza...call me if you need anything." Laura smiled, it was the same conversation that they had every night. She knew Kate felt bad about leaving her son - her own flesh and blood - most, if not all, of the time.

"I know, I know! Everything'll be fine and yes, if I need anything I'll call you. And if that jerk keeps harassing you tell him he'll have me on his case"

Kate rolled her eyes at her sister. "Yeah, yeah, whatever." She waved the thought away as if it were nothing. "I've gotta go." She looked over to her son who had gone back to his spot on the sofa. "Bye, sweetie."

Matthew glanced across at his mother with a slight hint of sadness in his eyes. He didn't like the fact that he barely got to see her during the week. Or the weekend, for that matter, and when he did see her, he didn't like the fact that she was so exhausted. "Bye."

She headed out of the door and climbed into her car, wondering what tonight's shift was going to bring.

XOXOX

Nikki A/N:This is my first story and I really want to thank JauntyChick for co-writing this with me, Things will get more interesting in the next few chapters and of course there will be lots of fluffyness along the way. Hope you enjoy, please R&R (It will make me and JC very happy) :D

Mary A/N:Hola! Okay, this is my first foray into co-writing, and I have to say, we're doing pretty well...we promise that Ryan's gonna make a wee appearance in the next chapter or two, and oh, yes, by, God - there will be oodles of fluffy moments to come...so, please R&R!