Still Here
Rating: CSI-1
Disclaimer: they're not mine, and, actually, I think that's a good thing.
"Hey!"

She looked up from her paperwork at the sound of the familiar voice. "Hey!" she replied with a smile, pleased to see him standing in the doorway.

He walked into the room and sat down beside her. "Nice work on that case... It was a tough one."

She nodded. "Thanks... I remembered some of what you taught me about bugs. Could have done with you being there, though."

"You did fine on your own... You always do," he responded, reassuringly.

She gave him a small smile but he saw the sadness in her eyes as tears glistened over them.

"Hey, I thought this was over," he said softly, gently stroking her cheek.

His touch was all it took to break down the dam that had been holding back the tears, and they spilled down her cheeks uncontrollably.

"I don't think it'll ever be over, Gil... I can't - "

"Yes you can, Cath," he interrupted her. "And you will... You just need time. Maybe if I stop - "

"No!" she interjected quickly, panic in her voice and eyes. "I need you."

He tenderly placed his hand on top of the one she had gripped round his arm. "And I'll always be here, but you can't keep doing this... You have to try."

Her crying became sobbing as the pain in her heart became too much for her to bear. "It's too hard."

He put his arm round her and held her close to him. "I know it seems hard, but you need to try. For Lindsey... For me... For your health."

"I don't want to," she cried harder, clinging to his shirt, refusing to let go. "I can't face it!" Her body was shaking violently, and her breathing was agitated. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly for a moment before he pulled back and held her away from him so he could look into her eyes.

"Cath, look at me," he instructed, softly.

She raised her swollen, red eyes to meet his, taking deep breaths to try to calm down. Whilst she didn't want to do it, she knew he was right about moving on. Crying had exhausted her, but that was all she felt like doing. The other option was too heartbreaking.

"You need to be strong... Lindsey needs you to be strong... I know you can do it. No matter what you say," he smiled comfortingly. "You'll get through this, Cath. Please try... It breaks my heart to see you like this." He caressed her cheek with his hand as he touched his lips to her forehead. "I love you."

"I love you too."

"Cath?"

She turned quickly in response to Warrick's voice. "Yeah?"

"We're going for breakfast... You coming?" he asked, walking towards her, concern filling his features at the sight of her tear stained cheeks.

She looked to the chair beside her and took a deep breath, before turning back to Warrick. "Sure... Just give me a few minutes, okay? I'll meet you outside," she said, accompanying it with a small smile, intended to assure him that she was okay.

He lightly squeezed her shoulder supportively then left her alone.

"And make sure you eat it this time," Grissom smiled.

She laughed a little, but it didn't feel much like a laugh, but it was either that or cry again. "I will... I can do this, Gil. But it doesn't mean I've forgotten you... I will never forget you," she said quietly, a lone tear escaping down her cheek.

"I know," he whispered, wiping the tear away. "And, besides, I wouldn't let you."

THE END