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A Friend In Need by Sydne [ - ]
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Category: CSI - Ship Ahoy! > Catherine/Gil
Characters: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Friendship, Hurt Comfort
Warnings: None

Summary: Ecklie talks Catherine into doing his dirty work. Thanks to Starjourneying. You made this so much better.





Catherine Willows was sitting in the break room drinking a cup of coffee and reading a case file when her cell phone began to ring. Setting the coffee cup down, she reached for her phone. She looked at the caller ID and her eyebrows shot up. When Conrad Ecklie called her, she hated it.

"Willows."

"Catherine, where are you?"

"I'm in the break room."

"Good, you're in the lab. I need to speak to you immediately. Will you come down to my office?"

The tone of Ecklie's voice caught Catherine's attention. He sounded nervous and upset, which was a sound she normally didn't associate with the Assistant Lab Director.

"I'll be right there," Catherine said as she stood up. After closing her cell phone she walked over to the sink. She dumped her coffee down the drain and set her coffee cup on the shelf.

Taking the case file with her, she left the room and headed to Ecklie's office. When she reached the office, she knocked lightly on the closed door.

"Come in."

Catherine entered Ecklie's office and started to walk towards his desk.

"Catherine, please shut the door," Ecklie said when he saw her.

Catherine went back to the door and shut it. She returned to the chairs in front of Ecklie's desk. He nodded when she looked at him. Taking a seat, she crossed one delicate leg over the other.

"I need your help," Ecklie started, "I just got off the phone with the Marina Del Rey Police Department. They have a body in their morgue that needs identification."

"Why do you need me for that?"

"It appears to be Grissom's mother."

The color drained out of Catherine's face when Ecklie told her that. She looked at him and suddenly it dawned on her why Ecklie wanted her help.

"You want me to tell Grissom, don't you?"

"Please," Ecklie paused. "Catherine, he hates me. I don't think I'm the best person to tell him this kind of news. It would be better coming from someone he trusts."

Catherine realized that what Ecklie was saying was true, but she still didn't want to be the bearer of this bad news.

"What can you tell me about her death?"

"I talked to Detective Metcalf in Marina Del Rey. It appears that Mrs. Grissom's neighbor hadn't seen her for a few days and began to get nervous. She contacted the PD and asked that they check Mrs. Grissom's home out. They went in and found her body in her bed. It looks like she died of natural causes. Her body is awaiting autopsy as we speak."

"I thought you said the body needed to be identified?"

"Technically, they know who it is, but they need confirmation and they want it to come from Grissom."

"What about the neighbor?"

"They are requesting a relative."

Catherine looked at Ecklie as she thought about how she was going to tell Grissom. After a few moments, she had an idea how she would do it.

"Okay, Conrad. I'm willing to do this for you, but I have a few stipulations."

"What?"

"After I tell Grissom, he's going to need some personal time off to go to Marina Del Rey. I want to go with him. He's going to need help sorting things out."

"Catherine, I can't have both of you gone at the same time. That leaves us short staffed."

Catherine stood and walked to the door. "Well, I guess you'll have to tell Grissom yourself then." She grasped the doorknob and started to turn it.

"Wait! I don't like it, but you've got a deal. Here's the contact information for Detective Metcalf," he said, holding out a file folder to her.

Catherine reached back and retrieved the folder from him.

"Good. Consider us off duty as of now. I'm going to go talk to him."

Ecklie watched her leave and thanked his lucky stars that Catherine was the one talking to Grissom and not himself.



TBC...