Catherine sighed and shrugged out of her dark suit jacket before stepping out of her restrictive boots and walking into her living room. The sight of Gil, stretched out and sound asleep, started her so much that she cried out.
He stirred but didn't wake up.
She approached, studying him with wide eyes. After the past few weeks, she never would have expected to see Gil willingly stay in her home.
Catherine frowned. It seemed like only a couple of days ago that he told her that her house was his home as well---and then, something changed.
If she had to pinpoint the change to one moment, she had to admit that the day she was put on the case with the hostile neighbours was the most logical choice. Gil had removed himself from his ase, according to Greg and the DNA lab gossip mill, and had left work for a few hours. She went to see him after her case was over, hoping to lure him away, but instead, she found a closed off, secretive man that resembled her partner.
She accepted his behavior as the result of a bad day---even though she heard his case wasn't too intense---and made a mental note to check the history on his laptop, because while he tried to seem casual, she knew he was not studying bugs. Studying bugs in spare time made him smile---not scowl.
Plus, she heard the beep on his computer.
When their restaurant case was solved, they had gone out on a date. Catherine would have enjoyed it more, but she couldn't supress her concern for Gil's recent change in behavior. He was still withdrawn and evasive, despite all of her attempts to open him up. She didn't know what he was so focused on.
The days between then and that precise moment when she saw him on her sofa stretched her attention span too thinly between an odd, troubling case and Gil's actions. She looked down at his sleeping form and saw that something was weighing upon his mind as well; his eyebrows were furrowed, and one eye was twitching slightly as he slept. She reached out and smoothed her fingers over the creases in his forehead. He sighed softly and turned towards her, resting on his side.
Catherine smiled a little. He had returned, after all, and she knew she should be happy about that.
She sat down on the floor, resting her back against the sofa, and then she picked up a book off of her coffee table.
After fifteen minutes of reading, she felt Gil's hand brushing through her curls. She smiled and reached behind her to rub her hand over his leg. He inhaled deeply and then said, "How'd it go?"
"Oh, alright," she replied, before turning to face him. "I missed you."
"Warrick needed help."
Unsure of how much truth was in that statement, she nodded and brushed her fingers over his cheek. "Yeah..."
He caught her hand and brought it to his lips for a kiss. "When does Linds get back?"
"I need to pick her up in an hour," she told him.
She smiled and nodded. "Yeah."
"So... we could cuddle for a while?"
Catherine nodded again. "Right."
"C'm'ere," he insisted, tugging on her hand. Catherine smiled and rose up enough so she could lie down on the sofa, one arm and one leg draped over Gil's body. "This is nice," he whispered.
She rubbed his stomach and sighed. He kissed the top of her head and wrapped an arm around her torso; the gentle gesture relaxed her and she closed her eyes.
"You want me to wake you in twenty minutes?"
She chuckled softly. "I'm not going to fall asleep."
"Nuh uh," she murmured. "I just want to be held."
"Okay," he whispered.
She tucked her face into his chest and inhaled deeply. "Mmm..." she purred. "You smell good."
She lifted her head and met his blues eyes with hers. "You smell good."
He blushed a bit and shifted underneath her. "Uh... thanks."
"You're welcome," she said with a little grin.
Gil chuckled and leaned forward to claim a quick, awkward kiss. Catherine smiled at him and then snuggled up more.
"Twenty minutes," she told him with a quick poke to his chest.
Gil laughed and hugged her tightly.
After wasting two hours by showering, making Lindsey's lunch for the next day, and sorting some laundry, Gil finally returned to the bedroom. Certain that Catherine was sleeping, he crept inside and closed the door and took his slippers off.
She sighed softly, sleepily, when he got into bed, and her arm reached out and fell over his chest. Gil smiled a little and watched her sleep, appreciating the sights and sounds in front of him.
He knew that he was having a hard time keeping his problems from Catherine; but, he also knew he wasn't ready to share them with her. This combination was a recipe for disaster---he wasn't a complete idiot.
But, of all the people in the lab, Catherine would be the one to notice he couldn't hear as much. Even if they weren't together romantically, she would still be the one to figure everything out.
So, he tried to keep some distance between them. But, it was a strain on both of them. He hated treating her like that, he hated what it was doing to their relationship. He just didn't know how else to handle the situation.
Catherine snuggled closer to him and buried her face in his neck. Gil sighed and rubbed her arm.
"Mmm," she hummed in her sleep.
He smiled a little and kissed her forehead. He could feel her waking up, and when she finally did open her eyes and look at him in the dark room, he felt his stomach tighten.
"Everything okay?" she whispered, her voice heavy with sleep. "Took you a while to get into bed."
"Made Lindsey's lunch," he told her quietly. "Did some laundry."
"Aren't you just the best boyfriend ever," she teased, before leaning up and kissing his cheek.
"I aim to please," he murmured.
"Mmm..." she replied wordlessly as she snuggled into him. Gil kissed her forehead and then used his other hand to brush her loosely curled hair off of her face. "Hey, Gil?"
"Can we talk for a second?"
"There are other things I'd rather do," he told her honestly.
She nudged him. "Seriously."
"My case," she admitted, moving so she could rest her chin on his chest, and meet his eyes at the same time. He didn't mind having her practically on top of him; she was warm, soft, and sweet-smelling. "Sort of."
He nodded, feeling a little relieved. "Sure... what's up?"
"Nora... and her immaculate perception," Catherine started quietly. "Made me think about babies and... well, do you think you'll ever want to try again and have one?"
"So, you're using your case as a starting off point for a discussion of our relationship."
"Catherine," he said softly, trying to keep the edge out of his voice. "Do you really think babies are something we should be talking about?" He sighed. "I mean, we're just getting back to being us."
"I know," she murmured. "I just..."
"Want a baby?"
"I'm not getting any younger... and I just thought that you'd like your own child. I know you love Lindsey, but she's not biologically yours, and---"
He cut her off with a gentle kiss. He really didn't want to talk about any of that. She yielded for a few minutes, letting the kiss last, but she eventually pulled away.
"Seriously, Gil. Talk to me."
"I love Lindsey as if she were my own, Cath," he told her quietly. "I don't care that---"
"All men want to spread their seed."
He sighed. "Maybe I don't want to pass on any of my genetics."
"You want to keep them all for yourself? You're too good to share with the world?"
Gil frowned at the hostility he could hear in her voice; he guessed there was more of it, but his ears were missing the full tone. "No, just my flaws... there are some bad genes I wouldn't wish upon anyone."
"Gil..." she murmured. "You're a good man. You shouldn't worry about---"
"I like us where we are now," he told her honestly, brushing his fingers through her hair. "If it happens, then it happens, and we'll have to decide what to do. But, I really don't think we're ready for a baby. And, I..." he trailed off and sighed. "There's just so much to consider."
"We wouldn't have to get married."
He sighed again. "That's not what I mean."
"Oh, your bad genes?"
"I like all your genes," she murmured. "Dirty ones, clean ones... not the acid washed ones because they just remind me of the eighties, but---"
She smiled at him. "Maybe my bad sense of humour's genetic."
"Passing that on would be a travesty to humanity," he teased, hoping to steer her into a lighter conversation topic once they hit the funnier side of the current discussion.
She poked him repeatedly in his ribs. "Hey!"
Gil grabbed her hand. "Stop!" he groaned, writhing underneath her. "I take it back! I take it back!"
The poking stopped. Gil smiled at her in the darkness. "Payback time," he whispered.
Catherine pouted. "Don't tickle me, Gil, I---"
He smirked and rolled them over onto their sides. "No, I'm thinking of something a little more enjoyable for us both."
He slid his hand down her side, before moving it between her legs. Catherine smiled and sighed softly as she rolled onto her back to give him easier access.
"You're just going to tease me all night, aren't you?"
"I'd like to," he admitted softly.
She smiled and leaned up for a kiss. He returned it gently, at first, but when Catherine demanded more, he gave that to her happily. Kissing Catherine could make him forget about his worries; if he could, he'd kiss her forever.
Soon, Gil had removed her tank top and shorts, and was kissing his way down her body. Catherine shivered in anticipation, her fingers flexing into his shoulders each time he kissed a sensitive area of skin.
"Shh," he scolded.
Gil chuckled under his breath and kissed the top of her left thigh. Catherine shivered and waited for him to get the torture over with.
Forty minutes later, Catherine's grip on Gil's shoulders had yet to loosen and her body was covered in a light, wet sheen. She whimpered, trying to strangle the sound in her throat; Gil watched as she bit her lip and threw her head back. Her spine arched and her hips pressed back against his hand.
"You are an evil man, Dr. Grissom," she panted.
"Ready for number three?" he asked softly.
"You take your time, you tease, and you hit all the right---"
Gil smirked and kissed his way back to her inner thighs. Catherine sucked in a sharp breath and arched her body. He curled his fingers that were still inside of her, and listened happily as she panted above him.
"Gil... Gil... oh, fuck, I am so getting you back, Gil..."
He hummed against her skin, and the vibrations seemed to be just enough to push her over the edge. She bit back a yelp as her body tightened; seconds later, she was sighing deeply and her body was completely relaxed.
"Gil..." she whispered.
He kissed his way up her body.
"No more... right?"
"All tapped out."
Gil chuckled and kissed her temple when he was parallel with her on the bed. "All tapped out? Really? You're losing your stamina, Willows."
"Shuddup," she moaned, as she rolled onto her side and buried her face in his shoulder. "Thank you. That was really... just... wow."
He smiled and kissed the top of her forehead.
She rubbed a lazy hand over his chest. "I love you. Not just because of the sex."
"I mean it."
He tipped her chin up so he could look at her. "I know."
She nodded. "Okay." She kissed him once and then looked at him again. "I just want you to know that... because you're important to me."
"You're important to me, too, Catherine... you're my best friend."
Catherine's smile stretched. Gil's heart felt as though it were swelling---partly in sadness, partly in happiness. If she ever stopped looking at him with that expression on her face, he didn't know what he'd do.