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10 March 2008 @ 10:00 pm
How Hard It Rains Now [CSI; Grissom/Catherine]  
TITLE: How Hard It Rains Now
PAIRING: Grissom/Catherine
SPOILERS: "Way To Go" (6x24)
RATING: R for some strong language


Rain usually gave her a charge. It electrified her and made her blood sing. Tonight, the rain was a mere accompaniment for her current mood. The rain did nothing to her except make her feel more dead inside than she already was.

She pulled the cigarette to her lips and took a long drag, her cheeks going concave. She savored the nicotine drawn in before she exhaled the puff of smoke, watching the rain pierce the small cloud against the darkened sky. Long ago she'd tried to kick the habit, but now seemed as good a time as any to start up again.

The rain had long since dampened her clothes -- they were now contouring her like second skin -- and her hair was slicked back against her head. Her makeup ran in rivulets down her face but she didn't care.

She heard the distinctive footsteps on the pavement behind her and didn't dare turn around. She felt the heat off his body and straightened her spine. She was close enough to feel the pounding of his heart behind her but she refused to move.

It's hard to listen to a hard, hard heart, beating close to mine


She closed her eyes. "Don't, Grissom."

Catherine once cherished the proximity and took comfort in recognizing the beat of his heart. Tonight, he was a stranger -- his heartbeat was alien to her, pounding inside his carefully-constructed walls that she, for once, refused to try to climb.

Pounding up against the stone and steel walls that I won't climb

She'd never thought he would do what he did. That he would stoop to the low he had now stooped to -- sleeping with a subordinate. Sara, of all people. The mere thought made her take another drag off her cigarette just to combat the nausea.

"You won't listen to me, just for a moment?"

She blew out the smoke through her nose and huffed, "Nope."

She had no desire to listen. They'd always had ways of pushing each other's buttons and sometimes intentionally hurting each other, but they always found their way back. Not this time. This time, he'd cut her too deeply.

Sometimes a hurt is so deep, deep, deep
You think that you're gonna drown

Did he even realize that she was crying? Did he realize that the mascara streaks on her face were not because of the rain, but because of his poor decision to ruin everything they'd ever had? She tipped her head back and let the rain wash over her again.

Sometimes all I can do is weep, weep, weep
With all this rain falling down

In a way, he killed her. Made her feel dead inside. He definitely killed any chance of them that had cropped up over the years.

"What do you want me to say, Catherine?"

She flicked her cigarette to the ground and stomped it out with one of her pumps. "Nothing. There's nothing for you to say, Grissom. You already said it all with your actions." She lifted her eyes to his for what felt like the first time in years... though technically it had only been days... and was surprised to see him minutely shrink back. "I hope you enjoy your upcoming unemployment. I won't be sticking around to watch the lab go down because of your ridiculous decision-making."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

She laughed mirthlessly and threw her head back once more, squinting through the rain that was now coming down in sheets. It briefly struck her that it hadn't rained this hard in Vegas since Eddie died. Now her life in Vegas was dying. How appropriate.

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds

"It means that I'm leaving. I've waited far too long for you, endured too many bruises, and this whole farce with Sara is just the final nail in the coffin."

"I screwed up, Catherine. I know that."

She rolled her eyes and pulled another cigarette out of the pack. "Fucking understatement of the century," she huffed darkly, pulling her sopping-wet sweater more tightly around her, as if that would generate more warmth.

But I'm holding on underneath this shroud

"Watch it, Cath."

"Y'know, I don't think you, any longer, reserve the right to 'Cath' me. You killed that when you shoved your head up your ass and decided to fuck Sara."

"I've admitted that I made a mistake. What more do you want from me?"

"Nothing. I don't want anything from you anymore. I give up, Gil."

It's hard to know when to give up the fight
Some things you want will just never be right

She lit her second cigarette and immediately drew it to her lips, holding his eyes as she took a long drag. She deliberately blew the smoke at him. "I used to want anything and everything from you, and you know that. But we never talked about it. We never made any mention of it. There had just always been this... understanding... between us."

It's never rained like it has tonight before

"And for all the times we've flirted and stayed at each other's houses and had movie nights, Sara's been making advances. And you've been rejecting them. Now all of a sudden you've jumped into bed with her. For God sakes, Gil, you're dating her! How do you think that's supposed to make me feel?"

"Catherine, I--"

"Y'know, if you never felt that way about me, you could've just said so. I would've backed off, and you know that. I wouldn't have continued pursuing you like Sara, driving you nuts with endless innuendo that would just make your skin crawl. I would've dropped it. Moved on. I wasn't going to beg you to be with me."

Now I don't wanna beg you, baby
For something maybe you could never give

"I just thought we had an understanding," she continued. "A silent agreement that one day we'd be together." She shook her head and flicked her cigarette to the ground, intentionally close to his shoes. She met his eyes again, then, and held them. "I wasn't expecting an engagement ring or even a serious commitment. I just expected a chance."

I'm not looking for the rest of your life
I just want another chance to live

She brushed past him, more than ready to walk out of his life for good.

"Catherine, you've still--"

"What?" She whirled around with hands outstretched, raindrops spinning off her hands like a sprinkler as she turned. "I've still what? I've still got a chance?" She raised her eyebrows and planted her hands on her hips.

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds

His mouth opened and closed on unformed words. After several moments had passed, he cast his gaze to his shoes. "Where are you going?"

Catherine took a few steps forward to hear better, his soft voice almost inaudible over the din of the storm. "Miami," she finally responded, distantly. "The lieutenant down there offered me a job -- dayshift -- so I took it."

But I'm holding on underneath this shroud

"When are you--"

"Tomorrow." She smoothed her slick hair back, feeling it stick to her shoulder blades. "Lindsey's at home packing up right now. My mom's helping her."

"Your mother's not going with."

"Not without Sam. And Sam won't leave Vegas. So Lindsey and I are on our own."

She saw him gulp and knew what he was thinking -- and the mere knowledge of that both disgusted her and made her ache all at once. She saw in his eyes that he didn't want her and Lindsey to go off on their own. So she voiced a response to his silent comment. "You didn't leave us much choice, did you Gil?"

"If I could take it back--"

She shook her head and waved her hand dismissively back and forth, cutting him off. "Don't even give me that load of shit, Gil. You wouldn't take it back, even if you could. She's been trailing you for too long, so I know in your mind you believe that you have to give her what's due. Or maybe you even think that sleeping with her will shut her up." She shrugged. "And I'll admit, even I considered sleeping with her if it would've gotten her to stop the goddamn schoolgirl moony faces for a minute or two."

Catherine watched him give that a moment's thought, though he wisely chose not to make a comment.

"Catherine, if things were different--"

"They're not, Gil," she cut him off yet again. "We could stand here and play the 'if' game until I have to catch my plane, but it's not going to change anything. Every action has a consequence, and for you? For your action? This is the consequence." She began to turn. "I'm leaving."

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds


She paused, only for a second, at the door of her Denali. The desperation in his voice was unmistakable. She made no move to face him, however. She just kept her hand on the door handle, gripped it, and turned her head just slightly over her shoulder.

But I'm holding on underneath this shroud

"You made this mess, Gil. Not me. I'm not gonna stick around to help you clean it up or assure you over a couple of drinks that it'll all turn out okay. Because it's not going to be okay. You slept with your subordinate. You're going to lose the lab -- this place that's been your home for however many years, even before you brought Sara to Vegas. You stand to lose your job, and well... you've already lost me."

Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds

"So that's just it? You're just packing up and leaving, and that's it?"

Catherine pulled open her door and stepped up into the driver's seat. She leaned out her door only long enough to nod and reply, "That's it. Action... consequence." Then her door slammed.

But I'm still alive underneath this shroud

As she drove away, she vaguely spotted his outline through the rain and knew that, despite the pain and the general feeling of being numb inside, she had done the right thing. He'd made his decision... so she had no choice but to make one of her own.


But, as much as she knew that, she also knew that her own action was going to have a consequence -- she was going to have to live without him.