Sara walked back into the bedroom as Catherine entered the house. He watched her walk, each surefooted stride brought her closer to him. Her hips swayed; her arm that carried her kit didn't move. She looked up at him, her lips pressed together, her brow knit in concentration.
"ALS," she interjected. "I know. I'll start out here, and see if the kitchen's wiped like the others were."
He nodded. "Thanks." He was about to turn, but he saw that she had a very uncertain look on her face; she had something on her mind. "Is there something else, Cath?"
She sighed. "Yeah." She dropped her kit and walked near him. He felt her hand on his arm, and felt small tingles on the skin she touched. "There's something I have to tell you. Later."
Gil felt a huge pit in his stomach. "Is there something wrong?"
Catherine smiled and shook her head; her fingers expanded and squeezed his flesh. "No, no."
"Can we talk now?" He asked, feeling a little better, but not completely reassured. "While we work?"
She shook her head again. "No, it probably wouldn't be a good thing to discuss in public."
She held up the ALS box. "Prints now."
He smiled. When they parted, his arm slipped out from under her hand until his fingers slipped into hers. "Alright. Whenever you want to talk, just find me."
When he saw her walk into the office, he felt the pit in his stomach enlarge. He had been unsettled all day, wondering what she had to talk to him about. It bothered him, the way she had announced that they needed to talk, and then didn't follow through.
She announced her findings: ketchup in the man's semen.
He raised his eyebrows. "I was expecting something a little more elemental."
The expression on her face mimicked his. "When we zig, he zags."
"Yeah," he agreed. "But he's not as smart as he thinks, you know. I mean, ketchup isn't going to mask the DNA in his semen."
Catherine spoke next: "All of which I'm sure you'll share with the FBI."
He almost rolled his eyes. "I'm sure."
"Hey," she tried, much to Gil's surprise. "Is it so bad to avail our lab to
the resources of our federal government?"
Gil had always known Catherine was better with people than he was, but he thought she understood how he felt about sharing with the FBI. They were arrogant, they didn't understand crime, and they made a mess of the evidence. "You've been talking to our Sheriff."
She corrected him. "I've been listening to our Sheriff. He says that you won't."
Gil shrugged. "yeah, yeah, I know. And if I don't shape up he's going to have Ecklie take over the case."
He watched the expression on her face change. She had a secret, and it looked like it was going to spill out. "No, he prefers someone from night shift, and it may be for more than this case."
"Ahhh," he leaned down onto his desk. "Now that the trees are gone, I can almost see the forest."
She leaned down onto desk. He could smell her. "Gil. Learn to be more politic."
Before he could reply, Nick knocked on the open door. "You guys got a sec? He's wearing latex gloves. The thick kind, too." Gil looked at the sample Nick had bagged from a distance. "He must know that the thin ones leave prints."
Catherine turned from Nick and looked back at Gil. "When we zig, he zags."
In the locker room, Catherine struggled to maintain her facade of control. Gil was off the case, was out of work for two weeks, and she was supposed to be in control. She knew she should be excited that she was given the chance to lead the team, but she couldn't stop herself from wishing Gil was with her. It didn't feel right without him.
Nick and Sara left to go talk to the FBI. They had been paged. She looked at Warrick, who broke the silence between them first. "You can do this, Cath."
She sighed. "Thanks." She rubbed her stomach. "I think I'm going to be sick."
She shook her head. This was concern for Gil that was causing her stomach to churn. "No."
"Stress," he said softly, understanding what she had been implying. He put a hand on her back, and rubbed gently. "What do you want to do?"
She chuckled bitterly. "What I want to do is keep Gil working on this case. We need him. No one knows more about signatures than he does." She shrugged. "I'm blood spatter girl. Not signature girl."
He nodded. "Well, how about I go round up Nick and Sara and we go to Grissom's?"
Warrick shrugged. "Don't see why not. The FBI gonna waste their time finding out where we're hiding out?" He shook his head. "Not very likely. They can't even help us with the case."
She smiled at him. "Okay. I'll go over there and give him the head's up."
"Did you tell him what I told you yet?" She shook her head. There hadn't been any time with the serials piling up, to pull him aside and admit that she knew he loved her. "Cath..."
"I know, I know. I will. Soon."
"You better," he said while she stood up. "And, while you're at it over there, tell him he has a baby on the way. Cheer the guy up. He can paint the nursery while you're runnin' the show."
She laughed. "Not yet. When we catch this guy."
"Is that a promise?"
She had her hand on the door. "Yeah, something like that. I'll see you at Gil's."
She got out of her car and headed to the door of Gil's townhouse. Her steps were slow, as she tried to figure out if telling him how she felt was something she should do sooner or later. Even though Warrick had told her what Gil had admitted to him, she was still afraid. Babies made grown men afraid.
When she saw that his door was open, her steps quickened before she even thought about it. She managed to stop herself at his door, to check for signs of a struggle. Her throat closed a bit, fear rushing her system. She peeked inside and saw no signs of struggle. Classical music played in the background.
Gil was lying down on his sofa. She saw a bottle of pills and a bottle of water on the coffee table, next to the case file he had taken home with him.
He jumped, gasping loudly, and turned to look at her. His eyes were wide.
"You're door was open." He still didn't say anything. "You okay?" She reached to see what the bottle was. "Migraine. It's been awhile."
Gil agreed. "I get one about once a year." He smiled. "I'm not used to having people in my house."
She smirked. "You just don't like it when you can't solve a case. Or," she added. "Command your troops."
He asked, voice full of emotion. "Did you come here to tell me about your new job?"
"I told the Sheriff I'd pass."
"You don't want to be a supervisor?"
"Well," she said while inspecting his bookcase. She had never noticed what sort of books he read; when they were in his apartment, reading was the last thing on her mind. "If I get a promotion, I want it to be on merit, not because you're politically tone deaf." She turned and faced him. "So our guys are outside in their Tahoes." His face told her how confused he was. "If you're a civilian, we are." She started walking towards the door. "Except, we are putting in for overtime."
She walked to the door and closed it. "They're not here yet. Warrick said he'd keep them late."
"We can't... not on the job..."
She shook her head and smiled. He was tense. "No, silly. You're right there isn't any time for that." She walked back to him and sat down in his lap. "However, your lips are doing that cute pout thing, and I really want to kiss you."
When she first lowered her mouth down onto his, she felt the tension in him. By the time he started to warm up, she already had her arms wrapped around his neck. His hands started behind her shoulders, but they slid down to her hips after a few seconds.
She pulled back a little, tugging on his lower lip. He groaned and looked into her eyes. She smirked, still sucking on his lip, and then opened her mouth to kiss him again. Gil's tension was slipping; she could feel it.
While her fingers unbuttoned the top buttons on his shirt, she felt his hands sliding under her shirt. Her mouth left his, to trail down and kiss his Adam's Apple and and then she moved lower to the little gully created by his collarbone.
One of his hands pulled her up. She looked into his eyes and smiled. She didn't know what she'd do if he stopped looking at her that way. "Better?"
He nodded, tucking his face into her neck. "Better." He looked up and brushed an errant strand of hair out of her eyes. "You sure you want to let me work on this?"
"We need you," she answered softly, kissing his forehead. "I need you."
"Little chick not ready to fly out on her own yet?"
She groaned. "Call me 'chick' once more and I'll send you flying across the room."
He chuckled. "Okay, okay."
In the background, they heard another Tahoe pull into the driveway. "They're here."
Catherine nodded. "Yeah. Time for work."
She saw him hit the ground and fought the urge to cry out. Somehow, by the grace of some supernatural force, she had managed to pull herself together and fire five shots into Sid Goggle's chest. She watched him fall.
Relief swept over her. So many awful feelings had attacked her when she stepped into that industrial laundry room, and as they evaporated, she felt her system slowly wearing down. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah," he nodded. She was next to him now, keeping herself still. All she wanted to do was hold him. "How did you know I was here?"
She heard the FBI milling around them. "Nick told me."
Special Agent Colpecker came down into the room. "Everybody okay?"
Catherine tuned him out. He didn't matter. Gil mattered. He mattered more than anything she could think of at that very moment. He spoke next. "I just wanted to talk to him."
They were cleared outside. Paramedics would be there soon, they were told. She wanted Gil's arm to get looked at before anything else. "I... oh, God, Gil." She wrapped herself around him. "Don't do that ever again."
She looked up at him. "Promise me, Gil Grissom. What if I hadn't been there in time?" She felt hysteria bubbling inside her chest as the fear found a way out of her mind. "What if Nick hadn't told me where you were going!?"
He tried to calm her with words. "I didn't think. You're right. Next time, I won't go anywhere alone. I promise, Catherine Willows."
"You owe me big time," she grumbled, her voice still shaking with fear. "You could've been seriously hurt, or worse---dead! And that would leave me to raise your child all by myself! And you still wouldn't have told me that you love me!" She shook her head, not noticing Gil's eyes bugging out of his head. "God! You even told Warrick, but you didn't tell me!"
He gripped her. "Cath?"
"What did you just say?"
"That you told Warrick that you were in love with me, but you didn't tell me."
"No, before that." A paramedic attendant walked over to them, asking Gil if he would like his arm looked at. Gil shook his head. "No. It's fine. Thanks. We're going home."
"That would be a good idea, Sir," he said.
Gil grabbed Catherine and headed in the direction of his car. "My car's over here, Gil."
"Reporters are also over here." He stopped her. "You didn't answer my question."
She sighed. "Oh. Yeah, I didn't, did I?" She ducked her eyes away from his; her nerves were bubbling inside of her again. Warrick had told her how Gil felt, but she never found out how he'd feel about a child of his own. True, he seemed to love Lindsay, but she didn't know if that was out of obligation to her, or because he really did grow to love her. She felt his hand under her chin, pulling her up to look at him. "I'm pregnant, Gil."
"We're having a baby?" A huge smile spread across his face. She sighed in relief, but watched as his eyebrows furrowed. "Are you okay with this? Is this what you want?"
Catherine nodded, her smile matching his in size. "Yes, as long as you don't feel like it's too much too soon." He shook his head and kissed her. She lifted her head. "Why didn't you tell me you love me?"
"Shyness, fear, nerves?" he shrugged. "Definitely fear. I thought you were just using me for my amazing body and skills." She giggled, despite herself; he frowned. "Geez, Cath, you could at least be a little more sensitive..."
"And here, I thought you were just using me for my body." She grinned. "And I know my skills had everything to do with it."
He tightened the hold his arms had on her. "God, Cath. I love you."
"I love you, too, Gil."
She felt his lips on her neck, under her ear. "We're really going to have a baby?"
"Yes," she answered him, lifting her arms around his neck. "We're really going to have a baby."
He hugged her close. She fought the urge to take him right there, in the alley. He kissed her again; she felt her knees buckle. "Can we celebrate?"
She nodded. "I'd prefer it."
Gil held her hand as they walked into his home, afraid to let her go, for fear this past hour would be a dream. He opened the door, and they walked in together. She let him go to take her coat off. He shut and locked the front door. When he turned back to her, he was compelled to wrap his arms around her from behind. She tried to turn around, but he didn't move to allow it.
"I want to hold you," he spoke softly. "Just let me try to absorb everything." His hands stretched out over her stomach. "Our baby..."
She chuckled. "It's still tiny, Gil. No swelling yet. No playing music on belly-phones yet, either." Her hand slid up and caressed his face. "You are okay with all of this, right?"
"Understatement, Cath." He loosened his grip on her; she turned to face him. "You've made me the happiest man alive."
"Goody," she grinned, before kissing him. "Now, can we please make love?"
He looked at her. "Make love?"
She nodded. "Yes, silly."
"You've never called it that before."
She nodded again. "I know. I just never... it wasn't making love, before." She blushed. "I didn't want to scare you off."
He understood what she meant; he had felt the same way so many times. He shook the thoughts out of his head; there would never be a need to entertain those worries again. He tightened his hold on her. "C'm'ere." She gasped, but relaxed when he kissed her.
She matched the intensity he held, but managed to stop to point to the hall that would lead them to his bedroom. Without another thought, he scooped her up into his arms and rushed to his private room.
Gil had started to unbutton his shirt, but she stopped him. "Here," she said, standing up off the bed. "Let me." He watched emotions and thoughts dance soundlessly across her face as she fiddled with the buttons. He noticed that her hands were shaking. She looked up. "You know, I've done this so many times. This should be a piece of cake." She chuckled. "It feels different, though."
"I know," he touched her cheek gently. He watched her return to the job, and when she had his shirt untucked, he helped her by sliding his arms out of it, while she pushed it over his shoulders. Her hands slid over the new skin she had uncovered, but her eyes stayed with his. "Is it my turn yet?"
She shook her head. "Nope. Not even close."
"We can't take too long, Cath. We'll be expected to give statements."
She nodded. "I know. I won't take too much longer, I promise."
Gil watched as she dropped down onto the bed. From her sitting position, she was at the perfect level to take his pants off. She worked at an agonizingly slow rate, raking her fingers under the waistband at least three times before finally sliding his pants off. She was even slower with his boxers.
She looked up and grinned. "Yes, Gil?"
"It's officially my turn."
"Says me," he puffed his chest out as she stood up. "I'm the boss."
While he fiddled with the hooks and loops on her white blouse, she asked him: "Does this mean every time we have a domestic issue you're going to pull rank on me?"
He shook his head, and pushed the shirt over her shoulders. He tugged on the cuffs, sending the entire piece of fabric to the floor. Her pants were next. He did the same thing that she did and sat on the bed. However, when she was standing, looking down at him in her matching underwear, he put his head to her stomach and kissed the soft flesh.
Catherine moaned and swayed. He kissed it again and looked up at her. "You're really happy, aren't you?"
"You don't know how happy you've made me." He replied, reaching up to unclasp her bra, and then reaching out to pull her underwear down. When he stood up, he saw tears spilling onto her cheeks. "And I've made you cry..."
With a shaking hand, she wiped her face. "God, you could've been hurt tonight..."
"Cath..." he tried to calm her, but didn't know how he was doing. "I'm fine."
He shook his head. "No more buts. Kiss me. I want to make love to you, Catherine Willows, but in order for that to happen, we have to---"
She cut him off with a kiss. His hands found themselves in hers, their fingers linked. He couldn't believe so much had happened in so little time.
They fell onto the bed, their legs weary. She rolled under Gil, and kept kissing him. Every once and a while, their lips would stray to explore other areas of each other. Slow, sensual exploration stoked the fires burning inside them. When she pulled her legs apart, nodding and smiling at him, he took that as his cue.
The noises she made when he entered her were always the same, but Gil still loved them. Her hands connected with his back, but slid lower so they were just at either side of his tailbone. He kept one hand on the side of her face, and together, they worked.
After making sure she reached her peak first, Gil allowed himself to tumble down after her.
They fell together, panting. Catherine looked over at him. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
She smiled after kissing his damp chest. "I don't think I'll ever get tired of saying that."
They walked into the office together, making sure to pull their hands apart once they entered the building. Catherine knew Gil was right in suggesting that they consider holding off announcements, but it didn't make the decision any easier to stick to. She had been so close to losing him; she didn't want to ever feel that way again.
"Oh!" He exclaimed, pulling her away from the break room and towards his office. "I completely forgot!"
"Gil? Why aren't we going to go find Brass and the others?"
He replied cryptically. "I have something for you." She didn't say anything until they were in his office. She watched him reach onto the shelving unit behind his desk. He pulled out a jewelry box. She knew it wasn't a ring; the box was too big. Other than that, she hadn't a clue. "I bought it a little while ago, but I didn't know how to give it to you."
She took the offered box and opened it. She knew tears were threatening to fall, but she didn't care. It was exquisite. "Oh, Gil..." She looked up at him. "I don't know what to..." She stopped and started again: "I love you. Thank you so much. I, it's beautiful."
He blushed. "I didn't know if you'd like it or not. The chain's a little long, but I thought..."
"Keep it hidden better?"
He shook his head. "Closer to your heart." She started to cry again; Gil knew how to play with her emotions. "Don't cry," he wiped her face dry as she struggled to control her tears. "I'm lousy with words. They're always too little or too much---"
"Perfect," she cut him off. "They're perfect. Would you put it on for me?"
Wordlessly, he picked the chain up and stepped behind her. She felt the cool metal pendant slide down her chest. She turned and faced him. "Thank you." She leaned up to kiss him, not yet sated.
Warrick knocked on the open door and laughed. "Man, you two sure are lucky it's always me who catches you." He looked at Gil. "I'm glad to see you're okay. We were worried."
"Thanks, Warrick," he smiled back at his employee.
"We were thinking about taking off, going to get some breakfast," he stated his reason for stopping by. "Did you two want to join us?"
Catherine knew Gil would say something about wanting to work, or fill out reports, but she was hungry, and she didn't want to be separated from him yet. "Yeah, that sounds like a great idea."
The others all got up to get their orders. Catherine slid her foot up into Gil's lap, where one of his hands rubbed it under the table. The looks she had been giving him were killing him; he wanted nothing more than to take her home and sleep next to her, completely naked, all day.
Of course, he knew there wouldn't be much sleeping.
He took the private moment to address something he had been meaning to get back to---the actual case. "I never should've put you in that position, Catherine. I'm sorry."
She shrugged. "What position? Never doubt, never look back." Her mouth was stretched into a smile. "It's how I live my life."
Her eyes were so beautiful; he wondered if he'd ever lose interest in them. "I admire that."
As the team returned with their plates, Catherine pulled her foot back, out of his hand. He smiled at her, and saw the necklace hanging around her neck, under her shirt. As the meal continued, he couldn't help but think back on the past year, and how their relationship started, and the zig zags it had taken to bring them to that very moment.
He couldn't wait to see where it would go from there.