Disclaimers: The show and its characters are NOT mine.

Spoilers: None

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COMPLIMENTS

"What?" Catherine dropped her magazine into her lap and sighed loudly, trying to act annoyed.

"What do you mean, 'what'?" Grissom asked innocently, with a playful smile.

"Why are you looking at me like that?"

"What? Now I can't *look* at you?"

She rolled her eyes even though she was secretly happy to have this playful Grissom back again after having lost him to who-knows-what lately, "Yes, unless you give me a reason for doing so."

He shrugged, "I like looking at you."

"You also like looking at spiders and rotting pigs, so it's a little difficult for me to take that as a compliment."

He chuckled, always amused by how Catherine never seemed to miss a beat, "Why do you always expect there to be an ulterior motive when someone compliments you?"

"I don't. I only expect there to be one when *you* compliment me."

"Why?"

"Cuz it never happens." She paused, allowing him to smile sheepishly at the truth in her statement, before looking at him sternly, "So? Is there a reason why since you walked in here half an hour ago, you've been giving me that look?"

"I already gave you my reason. Believe it or not, it's the honest truth." She narrowed her eyes at him, an indication that he was still failing to convince her. "You're beautiful."

She cocked her eyebrow and a suspicious smile formed, "Ok, now I know something's wrong."

"Why? Because I said you were beautiful?"

"Yes." She said, looking at him as if she had never seen him before.

"Catherine, you're beautiful. There is no subtext in what I'm saying." He frowned, "Stop looking at me like that."

"What? Now I can't *look* at you?" She repeated mockingly what he had said earlier.

"Just because I never say it doesn't mean I don't see it. I'm not blind."

"Alright…" She answered carefully, "So why now? What's so special about today that made you tell me after...what's it been? 15 years now?"

"Does it matter why I told you? Why are you asking so many questions, anyway? I'll take it back if it bothers you that much."

"You can't take back compliments, Grissom."

"Well then I guess you're stuck with knowing I think you're beautiful." He gave her a glance as he brushed past her towards the door.

"Hmm...Gil?"

"Yes, Catherine?" He stopped in the doorway and turned around to look at her.

She looked up at him with a smile, "I've missed you."

He considered her words for a moment before smiling back, "I've missed you too."

The End