She smiled at him, and he was gone. Had been since day one. When he had showed up for work at CSI for the first time, he had been a true rookie – impressed by the reputation the lab had, by the work Dr. Gilbert Grissom did, afraid he wouldn't be able to fulfil their expectations, to get the job done while at the same time knowing well that he was good, had to be or they wouldn't have hired him in the first place. This mixture of emotions had left him an emotional mess of nervousness when he had entered the lab and came face to face with Dr. Grissom. Of all the people, he had had to run into him first and quite literally. Stammering, he had tried to apologise sincerely for having run into the man, but before he could finish the sentence, a slender woman had appeared out of nowhere next to them, picking up the book Dr. Grissom had dropped and handing it to the man who still hadn't said a word, all the while smiling cheerfully at him.
"Don't worry, he needs to learn to pay attention to the world around him," she had dared tease the man he idolised lightly. "You must be the new rookie, Warrick Brown."
When he had nodded, she had shaken his hand. "Catherine Willows, his connection to the world," she had grinned.
A moment ago, he had been shocked into motionlessness by finally meeting Dr. Grissom, but now, he had found it impossible to tear his eyes off the strawberry blonde with the cheerful, open nature and had known he would enjoy working with her.
And he hadn't been wrong. Over time, Cath had become one of his closest friends, and despite all they had seen in the meantime, she hadn't lost that smile which still had the power to dazzle him and make him fantasise about her even though he was sure that the real world would always be different.
= End =