Rating: PG at most
Disclaimer: Not my characters, just taking them out for a little jaunt
Betas: the wonderful and responsive diachrony and desdemonaspace
Summary: I'm dumping you right in the middle of something, hope that works for you
Catherine turned away with a snort of derision.
"I don't have time for this," she said acidly, picking up her purse and slinging it over her shoulder.
Warrick reached out and gripped her arm, harder than he needed to. "Cath -" His voice was a mixture of longing and frustration.
Catherine rounded on him like a wolf brought to bay. "Take your hand off me!" she hissed through her teeth, face suddenly feral.
Warrick's hand sprang open as though he'd gotten an electric shock.
"Whoa, hang on -" he shouted, surprised. When the expression on her face didn't relax, his eyes turned wary and distant. He raised both hands in defeat.
He turned and dropped back into his chair at the break table, his back to her. The set of his broad shoulders radiated hurt and suppressed anger.
Catherine rolled her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose between thumb and forefinger to ward off the hovering headache. "Warrick -" she began warningly.
"No." Warrick cut her off, fist slamming into the table in front of him. Silenced, Catherine glared at his back, waiting.
"I can't keep you from doing your job," he said quietly, his shoulders slumping.
"And I shouldn't." He turned to face her again, sea-gray eyes stormy with unshed tears. "But you can't keep me from worrying about you."
Catherine ruthlessly suppressed an urge to turn and run from the room. She stepped slowly to Warrick and gently buried her fingers in his dense hair, stroking the curls.
"You know I have to do this," she murmured. Warrick leaned into her caress, closing his eyes.
"Yeah," he whispered with a half-hearted laugh. "I've known from the moment I saw the picture of that little girl with her scumbag uncle on the security footage."
Catherine's hand clenched involuntarily. Warrick yelped, and disentangled her fingers from his scalp. With a rueful grin, he pulled her wrist to his lips.
"Go," he whispered against her skin. "And you had better come back to me."
Catherine reached down and tipped his face up, enjoying the unusual height advantage Warrick's seated position afforded her.
Her lips a bare inch from his, she breathed, "Always."