Disclaimers: Not mine.

Spoilers: None

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UNDERRATED/OVERRATED

"How do you do it?"

Grissom peered up at Catherine with a weary look as if he wasn't sure he wanted to even know where this was going. But like always, he went with it. "How do I do what?"


"Live alone."

"Independence is encouraged the moment children reach their adolescent years, Catherine. You, of all people, should know that. You left home at 16, if I recall correctly." Grissom's voice was serious with just a hint of sarcasm.

"You know what I mean." Catherine frowned. Grissom never ceased to amaze her how far he could stray from the original question when he didn't want to answer it. "And I was 17." She shot back in an equally serious voice.

"Oh, my mistake." There was a slight smirk on his face, indicating he had known the correct answer but had purposely made a mistake to annoy her.

Catherine waited for him to answer her question but when he didn't, she sighed loudly, "Grissom!"

"Yes, Catherine?"

"You haven't answered my question."

"I was under the impression that I did."

"Well you didn't."

"What was your question? Cuz I'm sure I did."

"You didn't answer my question, Grissom! Now quit stalling and just answer it!"

"What was your question again?"

Catherine gave him her best 'I'm annoyed with you' look but repeated her question anyway, "How do you live alone? Doesn't it get...boring?"

Grissom shrugged nonchalantly, "Loneliness is highly underrated."

"And which literary figure said that?"

"Gil Grissom. Have you heard of him? He's quite popular." Grissom answered with a cheeky grin.

"Really? I heard he was a pain in the ass."

"I don't think we're talking about the same guy here."

"Oh, I think we are. And I don't agree that loneliness is underrated. It's as bad as people say it is. I just don't understand how you've been able to live this way for so long and not want to change a thing!"

"Why would I want to? I'm fine."

"You say that but you don't mean it."

"Catherine, I'm fine the way I am. Getting married and having a couple of kids and maybe a dog won't take me any happier than I am now." Ditching his playful tone of voice, Grissom answered seriously.

"Who said anything about getting married or having kids or getting a dog? That's not what I'm talking about."

"Then what *are* you talking about?"

"I'm talking about companionship. Someone to talk to, to listen to you, to be there when you need a shoulder to cry on..."

"I don't cry."

"Grissom! I'm serious!"

"I am too! I don't need to go out and search for that someone."

"Why? Cuz you think you're invincible and you don't need that someone to be there for you?"

"No, because I already have that someone. I have someone to talk to, to listen to me, to be there when I need a shoulder to cry on...so to speak..." Grissom took of his glasses, a quirk of his Catherine had noticed over the years that happened when he was ready to 'get personal', "Catherine, why would I go out and search for that someone when I've got you right here?"

There was a moment of silence between them when finally Catherine shook her head, "You don't talk to me!"

"What?"

"If I really am that someone for you, then why don't you talk to me?"

"I wasn't aware that what we've been doing for the past 10 minutes wasn't talking."

"God, you are just full of it today, aren't you?"

"I thought you wanted to talk? I'm talking, aren't I?"

"Stop or I'm going to have to make you shut up."

"*Make* me shut up?" Grissom chuckled, "And how, may I ask, are you planning on doing that?" Without a word, Catherine leaned over and kissed him. Before he could respond, her hands began unbuttoning his shirt. Surprised and slightly dazed from the kiss, Grissom grabbed Catherine's wrists to stop her, "What are you doing?"

"Shutting you up. It worked, didn't it?" Catherine grinned.

"Yeah...but the buttons..."

"Oh those! Well, you know, clothes are highly overrated."

"Really?" Grissom raised an eyebrow at her, "And who said that?"

"Catherine Willows. She's a smart cookie."

"Yeah? Maybe she and Gil Grissom should get together for a meeting of great minds. They'd learn a lot from each other."

"I'm thinking of a meeting too but not exactly of the minds..."

THE END