When All That I've Been Living For...
Rating: Trainee
Author's Note: Song lyrics interspersed throughout (preceded by #) are from "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" (Michael Bolton)
# I could hardly believe it
# When I heard the news today...

His heart sank, and seemed to cease its rhythm, as he read the words in front of him. The opening line had instilled panic in him, causing his breathing to become deeper and faster and his expression to fall. As he continued to read he grew more afraid of what was to come next. He wanted to leave now, to speak to her in person, to ask her to reconsider, but, in that first sentence she had anticipated this reaction and he felt compelled to respect her wish to have him finish the letter. He read on.

Warrick knocked lightly on the door as he stepped precariously into the office. He looked at Grissom, seated behind his desk staring at the paper in front of him with an intensity of pain that would crumble even the strongest heart. He didn't look up. He just spoke, trying to hide his fear, but failing.

"Did you know?"

Warrick didn't know how to respond. He had known about Andrew, and he had known about his proposal, but he hadn't expected her to accept it.

"I didn't know it would come to this," Warrick said honestly, hoping to have chosen a tone that would encourage this conversation further.

"Why is she going?" Grissom asked, realising that Warrick was his best chance to find out how they had reached this point with out him even noticing it approaching.

Warrick was taken aback. Grissom seemed not to know about Andrew. He frowned slightly, trying to figure out if it was possible for that to be true.

His silence caused Grissom to redirect his attention. He caught Warrick's expression.

"Warrick?" he asked, his concern increased by his co-worker's hesitance.

Warrick took a deep breath, this was not a position he wanted to be in, nor one that he had expected to be in.

"Warrick!" Grissom persisted.

This time his deep breath was proceeded by an explanation. "She's moving in with Andrew," he offered tentatively, wanting to judge Grissom's reaction before continuing.

Grissom's fear turned to shock. His eyes widened and he felt all his muscles tense. "Andrew?" he asked, knowing what the reply would mean, and overcome with yet another emotion at the realisation that Catherine had kept it from him.

"She met him at a conference about ... a year ago." Warrick did not want to deliver this news, he could see in Grissom's eyes how much it was hurting him.

Grissom choked on the air he tried to inhale. This man had been part of Catherine's life for a year and she had never mentioned him, and now she was moving to be with him and he had to hear it from Warrick.

He had carried on speaking but Grissom didn't hear him, there were too many emotions firing in his mind. He tried to organise every thought, ordering them so he could understand, and make sense of what was happening, but each time he filed one, another five appeared. And each provoked the same reaction. He had to see Catherine.

"Well, she isn't going anywhere without speaking to me." Gil interrupted Warrick's one-sided conversation, indicating to the younger CSI that he had not been listening, as he brushed past him towards the door.

"Grissom!" Warrick felt it imperative to stop him. He could see that Grissom was angry and didn't want things to get any further out of control. "I know she didn't tell you, but ask yourself why. And don't believe that it's because the two of you aren't friends anymore. You know that's not true."

Grissom nodded to Warrick to acknowledge his advice, then he left.

*****

#I had to come and get it straight from you...

He reached Catherine's house without even realising he had made the journey. Each gear shift and turn of the wheel had been made sub-consciously, his conscious mind being occupied with the words of the letter, his conversation with Warrick, and rehearsals for his meeting with Catherine.

He hoped she wouldn't confirm what he had been told, that somehow Warrick had misunderstood, but deep down he knew that wouldn't happen. Catherine and Warrick were close, he had always known that. It made sense that she would have told him, and, besides, Warrick wouldn't fabricate something like that. But he couldn't understand why she hadn't confided in the person she was closest to, and he didn't comprehend how he hadn't noticed. Amongst all the pain he was feeling, it was that that hurt the most. She had intentionally hidden it from him, and so carefully as to ensure that he wouldn't even suspect. He couldn't stop the anger from boiling inside him, despite trying to consider Warrick's last statement.

After several deep breaths of a futile attempt to curb his emotions he stepped out of the car. Closing the door he leant against it for a couple of seconds to steady himself. Trying deep breaths again, he was disturbed by the sound of Catherine's front door opening, and laughter coming through it.

#They said you were leaving
#Someone swept your heart away,
#And from the look upon your face,
#I see it's true ...

Grissom turned, terrified of who might be coming through that door with the recognisable laughter of Catherine and Lindsey. His fear subsided when he saw there was just two of them. And as he watched them talking and giggling, for a moment he forgot everything. He forgot why he was there, what was going to happen, and who was going to get to watch them from now on. In that moment, the only emotion he felt was one of joy to see Catherine so happy, and to see her daughter enjoying life so much. He observed them silently. Just watching.

After locking the door, Catherine turned to the driveway and noticed Grissom. Her wide, beaming smile fell from her face. Eyes, that had previously sparkled, looked scared, and as they locked with his, he was brought back to reality with a thump. Hit with all previous thoughts and emotions again.

They were both frozen, gazes trapped, breathing deeply and rapidly in unison. Neither wanted to speak, but both knew something had to be said.

Lindsey realised that her mother had stopped, and looking up from the leaflet she had been occupied in talking to Catherine about, she saw Grissom. Oblivious of the tension between the two adults, she screamed with delight and ran over to Grissom, wrapping her arms round his legs.

Grissom's stance did not alter. The situation with Catherine was too powerful for him to be able to suppress it. It was Catherine who finally broke the silence, for Lindsey, who was now wondering why Uncle Grissom wasn't returning her hug.

"Gil.." Catherine spoke nervously, "We were just going out."

"We're going to get - "

Catherine interrupted Lindsey's excited revelation quickly. "Lindsey, honey, why don't you put your things in the car while I talk to Grissom?" A look of panic had spread across her face as Lindsey had started to speak. Her eyes never left Grissom's though, and she saw his eyes narrow as she stopped the child from telling him where they were going. She knew what that look meant. He couldn't believe that she was even making Lindsey withhold the information from him. Her mind raced as she tried to think of the best thing to say; of the best words to use to retract the pain she was causing him. But there was nothing.

"But, Mommy, I want - " Lindsey protested, still unaware of the atmosphere building between her mum and Grissom.

"Lindsey, please. Get in the car. We need to go soon." Her tone was not severe and she didn't raise her voice, but Lindsey knew that she was serious and that there was no point trying to argue. She smiled and waved to Grissom and, seeing that he was completely focussed on Catherine, she realised something wasn't right, and followed her mother's instructions.

#So tell me all about it
#Tell me 'bout the plans you're making...

Their eyes had been locked for an eternity. Neither had spoken of the obvious reason for Grissom's presence, but each knew the other's feelings.

Catherine could see that, whilst his features portrayed anger, Grissom's eyes revealed betrayal and hurt. He was searching for an explanation, looking deep into her, and asking why.

Her eyes revealed more mixed emotions. She was unsure, anxious, frightened and sorry. Her mind was still looking for somewhere to begin.

Their breathing still followed the same rhythm. Each time she inhaled, she could hear that she was shaking. She had known that they would have to have this conversation, but she could never have had enough time to prepare for it. She knew that keeping her relationship with Andrew a secret was irrational and unfair, but she couldn't bring herself to tell him. Every day she felt guilty. Every day she tried to speak to him about it. And every day, her reluctance just made it worse.

As she thought about how stupid she had been, tears began to well in her eyes. Her face screamed how sorry she was, but she still couldn't find appropriate words to say to him.

Suddenly Grissom smiled, sympathetically, and walked towards her. He saw shock sweep across her face, so he smiled again to try to calm her down. And it turned to confusion.

"I don't know why you didn't tell me," he said stopping just inches from her.

She looked at him, nervously. She didn't understand this change. His pain hadn't gone. She would feel much better if he would shout at her. If he would show his anger, instead of burying it like he did every other emotion and feeling.

"Did you think I wouldn't be happy for you?"

She looked into his eyes again, but she couldn't read them. He was hiding from her. She laughed inwardly at the hypocrisy of her expecting him to reveal his true feelings, after what she had done to him.

She frowned and opened her mouth slightly as if to speak. Then she stopped and shook her head.

Finally she managed an outburst. "Dammit Grissom! Shout! Yell! I've hurt you, don't let me get away with it!"

"I don't want to shout. And I certainly would never yell at you."

He still had the ability to amaze her. She wouldn't have thought it possible if he didn't keep doing it. He had hidden all the anger she had seen in him just minutes before, and was talking to her as if it had never been there.

"So when's the big day?"

She was too stunned to speak. She had expected more than this. She wanted more than this.

"I assume I will be invited," he said with a smirk that seemed genuine.

"Grissom? Wh .. How .. Wh. . Are you just gonna ignore it?"

"No. I'm gonna get over it. I can see that you're sorry. There's no point in me shouting. The emotional turmoil in your eyes eradicates all the anger I had. Cath, you're shaking, how can I be mad at you?"

He took hold of her, wrapping his arms round her and holding him close to him to try to stop her trembling. Still confused, she accepted the hug, she was shaking, and his support felt good.

"You need my support now, not my wrath. You're my best friend, Cath and nothing will ever change that. Whenever you need me, I'll be there. I will help you move, I will help you find another job, I will help with your wedding, if you'll let me," he laughed.

#Tell me one thing more before I go,
#Tell me how am I supposed to live without you...

And, though he laughed, his heart cried. He didn't want to help her move: he didn't want her to go. He didn't want to help her find another job: he needed her on his team. He didn't want to help her plan her wedding: he didn't want her to get married. But he couldn't tell her. He held her as close as he could, his arms tight around her. He fought to suppress tears that refused to be held back and were falling in their thousands. He took deep breaths to try to steady his breathing so that the head against his chest wouldn't be able to tell he was crying. And all his anger, hurt and fear manifested in those droplets streaming down his face.

#Now that I've been loving you so long...

Her lips trembled. She could hear his heart pounding, she could feel his erratic breathing, and she had held a crying child enough to know what was causing it. She had never seen Grissom cry. Her heart broke and her own tears broke free, she nuzzled closer to him and strained to repress her sobs.

Feeling the moisture on his shirt, he shifted an arm to hold her head. He gently stroked her hair, in a soothing motion.

"I can't do it, Gil, I can't leave," she cried, "It'd be a mistake."

"You can do it, Cath," he said, as calmly as he could.

"I can't," she sobbed, getting more and more worked up, her breathing growing faster and her shaking advancing.

He held her away from him slightly and lifted her head to see his. "You can. You will have Lindsey and Andrew to help you. And I'll always be just a phone call away." He wiped some cascading tears from her cheek and smiled, hoping that would lift her spirits.

"What if it doesn't work?" she trembled.

"Then you come back." He smiled.

#How am I supposed to live without you?
#And how am I supposed to carry on
#When all that I've been living for is gone?

"And will you be okay?" she asked as she fixed her appearance.

"As long as you're happy, I'm happy... And you are happy?"

She paused for a second, looking deep into his eyes, then smiled, "I will be."

THE END