A/N: I wrote this based on the latest TV Guide Spoilers for the finale. I wanted to have Vartann involved as more than just Catherine's new lover. This is what I came up with.
I'll post more shortly after the finale.
Warning: Spoilers for Dr. Who
I Want to Trust You
Catherine flicked her eyes open. She blinked a few more times trying to focus on where she was.
The room was white almost sterile with little or no color anywhere. A wood chest of drawers sat next up against the far wall. A small table against the window held a few random pictures. And a pile of clothes; sweats and a t-shirt sat next to the closet along with a pair of running shoes. Catherine smiled as she took in her surroundings. She was at his place in his bed. Somewhere where she wanted to be.
The past 40 hours were a blur to her. All she wanted to do was escape into his arms and not think about Ray, Nicky or Dr. Jekyll. All she wanted to do was listen his breathing as he lay next to her.
The space next to her in the bed was empty. Catherine climbed out of the queen sized bed with the green blanket. Very much a bachelor's pad. He could do with a few female touches she always though every time she found herself in his bed. Something she could remedy soon though.
Catherine pulled on one of his (hopefully) clean shirts, pulled on her yoga pants that she had conveniently left the last time Catherine was in Lou Vartann's place.
She followed her nose to the smell of fresh brewing coffee. She spied him in the kitchen doing of all things, cooking. Her heart almost skipped a beat at the sight of the incredibly handsome man cooking.
Her arms wrapped around him from the back. She laid her head into his strong solid back hoping she wasn't disturbing whatever was filling his kitchen with such good smells.
"Morning," he muttered stroking his fingers along her arms. He twisted around to look the redhead woman in the eye.
"Morning," she smiled back looking directly into his steely blue/gray eyes.
She met his lips with a small kiss.
There was so much she wanted to tell him. So much she wanted to say about the case, about Ray, about Brass and about putting it all on the line or eventually giving it all up.
And afterward, she would want him to hold her. Much like he did last night and the night she cried in his arms after Lindsey had moved out and into her dorm for the summer before starting classes at WLVU.
Instead, Catherine held it in. She knew Lou wasn't as naïve as he sometimes seemed to be. She knew he was one of the most upstanding and even keeled cops she had ever run across. Perhaps that's why she fell for him, because he's so mellow, calm, cool and charming. Or perhaps it's because he's so even and fair?
Whatever the reason, she felt she couldn't tell him…. Not yet. Not enough time had passed for her to let him in on what she had done.
Instead she smiled and asked, "So, what's for breakfast?" It didn't matter that it was 2:45 in the afternoon. The sun was streaming through the small window off his kitchen. The light weight white sheer curtains provided enough of a barrier from soon to be hot Vegas sun.
"Pancakes," he answered.
A small twinge of disappointment momentarily came to her. As much as she liked pancakes she was hoping for something different.
"Oh." Was all she could get out.
She watched a devilish grin come across his face as he turned back to the stove to finish preparing the meal.
Catherine sat down at his small kitchen table. Another place that needs a woman's touch. After pouring herself a cup of coffee. Something she felt quite comfortable doing.
Coming to his place always felt comfortable to her. Even the first time. Giving each other keys to each others places didn't faze her in the least. She felt secure and safe giving Lou her key and he vice-versa. They had created a very nice, safe, secure routine. A place where both the homicide detective and the CSI supervisor could escape the tragedy, bloodshed, and overall hatred of the outside world .
He told her he would always smile when he came home to find her purse hanging on the closet door handle, her briefcase on the coffee table and her shoes by the front door. And her either on his couch or in his bed. A sight that he has come home to on more than one occasion since their time on the drug stake out.
Their world was safe with each other. And when one or the other needed their privacy and space, not a word needed to be said. Another wonderful result of the life they begun to build together.
She took a few sips of her coffee clearing her head waiting hungrily for whatever he was going to serve her.
A plate appeared in front of her full of eggs mixed with lots of herbs.
"Pancakes huh?" She arched her brow as he sat next to her with an identical plate.
"Yep, just the way you like them," he smiled an incredible smile that almost made her heart melt.
She watched him almost in awe as he took the first bite. He locked his eyes on her as she sat looking at him.
"Something wrong?" He asked with some concern.
Catherine took her eyes off of him and slowly dug into her breakfast.
She ate a several bites very quickly but as ravenous as she was, she had to ask, she had to open up to him about her plans for the case.
"I was thinking, wouldn't it be great if we went away somewhere together? Just you and I?" She cursed herself for not asking what she really wanted to.
Oh, she'd love to get away with Lou. To see the Pacific Ocean again. To see the stars as they come out at night. To feel cold mountain air. Or just to sit on a beach somewhere and not think about anything but what to do with the rest of the day and what to have for dinner.
Lou looked up from his plate and gave Catherine a long stare. She felt sort of nervous, like she wasn't sure what he was going to say.
The moments went by way to slowly for her, she almost felt like walking out and ending whatever it was between them at that moment… instead she took another long sip of her coffee keeping her eyes on him.
He tilted his head after wiping his lips with the back of his hand. Catherine grew more nervous and looked into her cup as she took yet another sip.
"Catherine," he began. "I would love to get away with you. I hope you know that."
She let out the long breath she was holding in relief. But she sensed something else from him.
"But?" She asked as her brows arched again.
"But." He put down his fork. "I think there is more going on here than just us going away together."
His eyes locked intensely on her. She could feel herself squirm in the chair. She was even more nervous than moments ago when he didn't answer her.
"What do you mean?" She looked intently at her coffee cup.
"Catherine." His tone of voice sent chills up her spine.
She couldn't lie to him. Not anymore. Not like she ever was. But somehow not telling him would protect him and her she felt. But she was there and he was there and she didn't want trust to be an issue with them. He's a cop, he'd find out sooner or later.
"Have you ever gone above your boss? Risked your career to do something you aren't sure is the right thing?
Have you ever disobeyed direct orders?"
Her eyes slammed shut. Her cheeks flushed at the sound of her questions.
She pried one eye open and watched him as he sighed leaning back in his chair.
"I have something to tell you too." His voice low and steady. A far cry from what she was feeling.
"You first." She got out trying to conceal her emotions.
"Okay, but I'm not sure you are going to like this," he started.
"Shoot," she told him.
"I've been transferred." His words hung between them like stale, stagnant air.
Time stopped. Her heart sank. Catherine couldn't breath. Nothing moved. Her chest would not expand to let the oxygen in. She felt like the world was going to swallow her up.
All the planning, the long talks with herself about how to keep her decision about her team from him. How her stomach hurt ever time she thought about how she's putting everything on the line for Ray, to eventually catch a killer. How both her and Lou's careers and possibly both their lives could end because of it.
"You went over Brass's head and now I'm being transferred." His words were flat with no emotion. They filled the emptiness left between them.
He does know.
The air around them went sour again.
"I should get going," Catherine redirected flatly.
Catherine quietly stood up from the table, walked right past Lou still sitting back in his chair. He didn't look at her, she didn't want him to. She couldn't bear seeing his face and the emotion or lack of that it would hold.
A simple "I'm sorry." could mean so much or so little. As a man she knew he could hold in his emotions. She thought she could too, but she couldn't around him. Not this time.
She didn't want to look at him as she muttered the words anyway hoping it would make up for what she did.
Her eyes closed as she leaned into his cheek placing a quick kiss before heading off to the bedroom.
"Catherine," he called. She stopped at the sound of her name.
"I care about you, probably more than you want to know right now, but I don't like this. I don't like what is going on here."
Their world stopped once more. No more words.
"I want to trust you, Catherine." she heard him mutter as she walked by. It sent shivers down her spine.
Her stomach finally settled once she reached her office. She was so clear and so direct with Ray about his actions. She even kept it together in front of Brass and Undersheriff Ecklie, which wasn't always easy.
But why was she so upset about Lou's transfer? It should have been a good thing. She should be thanking Brass or whomever made the decision to keep him out of what ever was going to shake down. But then, why was she so upset? She felt betrayed. And now almost remorseful. She was also betraying someone, and it made her feel even worse.
Turn about is fair play, she chided to herself.
Catherine placed her glasses on her head and began to mindless click the keys on her computer passing one email after another. Her mind wouldn't focus.
Too much at stake, too much to loose, too much to give up. And for what? The off chance that Nathan Haskell could possibly lead Ray to Dr. Jekyll? But it was too late; she had already made that decision, now she could possibly pay for it in more than one way.
After what seemed like an eternity in her office doing more mindless work, she heard a familiar voice in the hallway. One she didn't want to acknowledge but she knew she had to.
"Jim," she breathed effortlessly like she didn't have a care in the world.
The seasoned detective could see right through her. She didn't have to say anymore.
She flicked her eyes down in shame as he sat in the chair across from her desk.
"How ya doing Catherine?" He asked with genuine concern.
"I'm okay, I'm good. Why?"
"Well with everything that happened with Ray, I wanted to check in on you. To see how you are." Jim Brass's eyes squinted as he read Catherine like a book. A trait she wished her long time friend didn't possess.
"What's… what's going on Jim? I thought for sure you'd be with Ray chasing down leads on Dr. Jekyll. I know Archie still has the security cam footage from the casino." Catherine attempted to get to the point. She knew neither one of them could hold in the true reason why Jim Brass was in her office.
"You know for as long as I've known you, I never got the feeling I couldn't trust you," the detective started.
Catherine, the CSI Supervisor sat in silence, uncomfortable silence while she listened to her friend talk about the choice she made.
"But why did you go over my head? Why did you tell Ecklie that I was okay with having Haskell out of prison and back in Vegas? Why Catherine?"
Her world stopped again. She couldn't speak. All she heard was a ringing in her ears. Everything else was shut down. She couldn't think let alone talk.
Time passed slowly as the Police Captain sat patiently across from her watching her every move, knowing she could have made a very costly mistake, but also knowing her all to well that she wasn't that comfortable about it either. She knew it, he knew it.
Catherine did the first thing that came to mind, the first thought that filled her head was the first sentence she gave back to the questions he was asking.
"Why did Lou Vartann get transferred?" Another question she wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answer to.
Jim Brass's eyes widened. He didn't expect her to ask that question, but she did.
"Look, whatever you and Lou have going on, hey, I think it's great. I mean, yea, it's about time the two of you got together. Gosh, I can't think of how many times I've caught him look at you…"
"That's not the point Jim," she flung to him.
His hands went up in defense. "Because it's a conflict of interest."
"How? How is it a conflict of interest? Because he reports to you? Or because you don't want him near me?" She couldn't control the hurt and anger coming out in her voice.
"Hey," Brass smiled, "like I said, I really think it's great that the two of you hooked up. I mean who do you think put you two in that hotel room together?"
"But that's not the issue here is it now Catherine? Plus it's out of my hands. If Vartann wants to transfer back here, he's more than welcome." He was suddenly very serious.
"Then what is it Jim? Why is it so important that he no longer report to you?"
She waited. She watched her friend and colleague of many years tell her something was out of his hands.
"Again Catherine, it's a conflict of interest and that's all I'm going to say on the matter."
What seemed like a very long silence between them was broken when the detective asked,
"So, tell me Catherine, when were you going to tell me about Haskell's transfer? Did you think I wouldn't find out? Don't you think I would have known if I had given permission to Ecklie about it? I was just talking to him before I came here."
Her jaw dropped. She had to take a minute to compose herself. She took in a deep breath, "Because I had to."
"I don't buy it," Jim Brass quickly retorted.
"It's the only way we can catch Jekyll. We have run out of leads and frankly I had no other choice." Catherine finally let it out. She felt sort of relieved at the moment.
Like a weight had been lifted off her chest.
"I'm telling you Catherine, I have a feeling about this, its not going to end well."
"No offense Jim, but right now, I don't care about that. I care about catching Jekyll."
"Uh, Catherine, I don't think that's all you care about. Otherwise you wouldn't have made such a big deal over Lou's transfer."
"I think you and I both know it's not going to end well, that's why you are so concerned about him. Well that and … you know."
"Listen Jim," she struggled to conceal her annoyance and frustration at the conversation, "I really don't have time for this. Haskell is on his way here and I want to be prepared like I assume you want your guys to be. So unless you want to chew my ass out for something else, I think we have some work to do." Fear and relief were mixing up inside her as she spoke.
"Okay Catherine, have it your way." The police captain got up to leave, "I hope you know what you're doing."
A statement she didn't need to hear.
"Oh and I always thought I could trust you. I want to trust you. I mean you are twice the supervisor Grissom ever was and I'd lay down my life for him. You, I'm not so sure anymore."
And with that, Jim Brass was gone.